Bridgestone to invest EUR200 mn in Spanish tyre plant

Bridgestone to invest EUR200 mn in Spanish tyre plantTyre maker Bridgestone EMEA has announced a historic investment of up to EUR207 million in its Burgos passenger tyre manufacturing site in Spain, one of its largest to date in Europe. The investment aims to raise tyre manufacturing at the facility by about 75%, it adds.

This ambitious project involves technological innovation plans that will be delivered between now and 2030. This investment reflects a commitment to the production of high-value High Rim Diameter (HRD) tyres (18” and above), with a significant productivity increase of around 20% compared to the current set-up. This increase in manufacturing capacity will help Bridgestone Europe meet customers’ demand for premium and high-tech tyres.

The new technology transformation will focus on three axes: automation for higher productivity; increase in vulcanisation capacity; and the creation of an automatic high bay warehouse to increase the stock of newly manufactured tyres which will provide more flexibility in production. By introducing BCMA (Bridgestone Communality Modularity Architecture), the company will also improve agility in its production processes and ensure further simplification for efficiency.

The Burgos manufacturing facility, which has one of the largest production capacities for Bridgestone passenger car tyres globally, will see a 75% increase in its HRD tyre production capacity to more than 7 million premium tyres. In addition, this transformation will see the Burgos plant become one of Bridgestone’s biggest producers of van tyres in Europe.

Emilio Tiberio, West Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Bridgestone West, said: “At Bridgestone, we are moving into a new phase of European and global growth by combining innovation and sustainability at our Burgos facility in Spain. This multi-million-euro investment is aimed at strengthening our premium tyre business by increasing our productivity, logistics autonomy and tyre offering in the high value segments. Furthermore, we are proud to contribute significantly to the economic development of Burgos, Castilla y León and Spain by continuing to strengthen our manufacturing and sustainable footprint in a strategic region for us at the European level”.

This project will strengthen the plant’s capabilities and operations towards 2030 and beyond, providing a long-term employment outlook for the factory in Burgos, as its manufacturing mix will evolve strategically from the traditional small, low rim diameter tyres (LRD), towards the high-value larger ones.

Bridgestone is on a journey to make its operations greener and smarter, by delivering cutting-edge products for its customers and society, while reducing the impact of its operations on the environment. The combination of technology, automation, and R&D will significantly reduce losses and enhance manufacturing processes. Thanks to this modernisation, it is estimated that the Burgos plant will save 410 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to current levels. These savings amount to approximately 2,000 tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

Sustainability is already one of Bridgestone’s driving forces in Burgos, with more than 20,000 solar panels recently installed on the plant’s roof covering a surface equivalent to five football fields and a total output of 9.2 MW. Thanks to this installation, between 10% and 14% of the electrical energy consumed by the plant is directly sourced from the sun, and on the sunniest days, the factory’s total energy consumption is covered by this renewable energy source during peak hours.

Emilio Tiberio added: “In line with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, this project will fortify the Burgos plant’s capabilities towards 2030 and beyond, ensuring sustainable employment and a strategic evolution towards smart and green manufacturing. These advancements will also accelerate our goal of carbon neutrality (scopes 1 and 2) by 2050. By boosting production and optimising environmental practices through technology, automation, and R&D, the Burgos plant is geared for the future, setting a new benchmark within Bridgestone’s manufacturing network.”