Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced an investment of approximately US$190 million to renovate and expand its tire manufacturing plant located in Belén de Heredia, Costa Rica. This investment is in addition to more than US$60 million planned for 2022-2026. In total, the company will be investing over US$250 million in total over the five-year period.
Thanks to the new capital investment, the company will be able to extend its facilities and increase its production capacity up to 36% by 2026 and adding more than 160 new permanent jobs.
“This new capital investment represents an important step for Bridgestone’s tire production capacity, and it also reinforces our commitment to contributing to Costa Rica’s economic and social development,” said Alfonso Zendejas, president of Bridgestone Latin America North, Bridgestone Americas. “This investment strengthens Bridgestone’s commitment to Costa Rica as a strategic location for local and global business activities and further contributes to our ability to maximize value for all of our stakeholders.”
This investment complements the strategic plan for sustainable growth that the company has been implementing in recent years to expand the businesses that operates in the country. From 2020 to date, Bridgestone Costa Rica has invested more than US$38.5 million, of which US$36 million has been destined for modernization and efficiency projects for the tire manufacturing plant, US$2 million for the expansion of the plant in Turrialba, and US$0.5 million to strengthen the operations of the Bridgestone Business Services.
“At Bridgestone, we believe in the great potential of the Latin American market, as well as the high levels of quality and reliability of the local workforce. Thanks to the trust of the corporation and the daily commitment of our teammates, Latin America will remain one of the most outstanding regions for the company worldwide,” said Celso Villalva, vice president of Latin American Manufacturing, Bridgestone Americas.
The expansion of its plant in Costa Rica supports the Bridgestone E8 commitment that places sustainability at the center of its strategy and consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment). Bridgestone has committed to working together with employees, society, partners and customers to realize a sustainable society. This expansion project exalts the values of “Extension”, “Economy” and “Ecology,” since it includes the adoption of new machines and manufacturing technologies, as well as the replacement of two fuel-oil boilers with electrical ones, resulting in more efficient production with zero carbon emissions.
“With the expansion of the plant, we will be able to continue to meet the current and future needs of our customers, focusing on the production of premium tires for domestic and export markets and sustainable solutions with products that will be ready for the digital age,” explained Pablo Jiménez, manufacturing director of Bridgestone Costa Rica, Bridgestone Americas.
Bridgestone’s plant in Belén de Heredia started operations in 1967. It is focused on the production of tires for passenger vehicles, vans, and trucks for domestic and export markets; and employs around 1,000 people.
In addition to the tire plant, Bridgestone maintains the operation of its Bridgestone Business Services in Heredia with more than 500 employees, the Firestone Industrial Products manufacturing plant in Turrialba, which employs around 250 people, and more recently, a new business unit for trading activities that operates under the Free Trade Zone and employs around 100 people.