Bridgestone To Stop Tire Production in Russia
Bridgestone Corp. is suspending manufacturing at its lone tire plant in Russia, and also is suspending the shipment of tires into Russia.
The company says its sales and operations in Russia account for less than 2% of the company’s total revenue. Its plant, which produces passenger tires, is located in Ulyanovsk, in western Russia.
“The Bridgestone Group is deeply saddened and concerned by the situation in Ukraine, and hopes for the restoration of peace and safety as soon as possible. The Group has been closely monitoring the situation by utilizing the group’s global network, placing priority on ensuring the safety and peace of mind of its employees, families and related people.”
The tiremaker will halt tire production by March 18th, but says it is stopping tire shipments to Russia on March 14.
Bridgestone says it has also returned all 10 of its Japanese employees and their families who were stationed in Russia back to Japan. Bridgestone's European office says the tiremaker has 1,000 employees who work in the passenger tire plant and in sales offices in Russia, and that it "will support our employees financially at this time."
The tiremaker began production in Ulyanovsk in December 2016, and has manufactured 5 million tires since its startup. Among the products produced there are Blizzak winter tires for both the Russian market, as well as markets across Europe, including Finland, Sweden and Norway. Bridgestone said in December 2021 that the plant "in the near future" would make winter tires for Germany and Poland, as well.
The company says it expects "manufacturing output outside Russia to remain stable in the coming weeks."
Bridgestone says it is also making a donation of 2.5 million euros to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Additionally its regional businesses will make donations to the International Red Cross, with the American business unit giving $250,000.