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Bridgestone opens giant OTR tire plant

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OTR tire production at Bridgestone Corp.'s Kitakyushu, Japan, plant has begun, three months ahead of schedule.

The factory builds large and "ultra-large" OTR tires and is the first plant that Bridgestone has opened in Japan since 1976.

Bridgestone officials say the plant is necessary because "in the medium to long-term," demand for large OTR tires is expected to increase. The company "accelerated its preparations and pushed forward" the factory's start-up.

"Previously, Bridgestone manufactured large and ultra-large OTR tires at its Shimonoseki, Japan, plant. Now that production has begun at the Kitakyushu plant, Bridgestone will be even better positioned to supply customers."

Bridgestone projects that the combined output of both factories will increase 30% by the second half of 2012.

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