Bridgestone Announces Temporary Closedown

Bridgestone Announces Temporary Closedown


Bridgestone Australia Ltd has announced a temporary closedown of its Salisbury manufacturing facility in South Australia from April 14th to 27th 2009 inclusive.

Bridgestone Group Chairman and Managing Director Shawn Hara said the plant, which employs approximately 600, would be temporarily taken offline to reduce inventory holdings in line with consumer demand.

No jobs will be affected by the closedown, with employees accessing leave entitlements.

"The economic slowdown is having an impact on consumer demand around the world and Australia is no different," Mr Hara said.

"This step is a reflection of Bridgestone Australia's ability to react quickly and prudently to the current situation to ensure we protect the long-term viability of our manufacturing business and the jobs of our valued employees."

Mr Hara said the company remained positive about the outlook for 2009.

"We are committed to local tyre manufacturing and we are proud of providing quality Australian-made tyres to our customers," Mr Hara said.

"We are not reliant on the vehicle manufacturers, as the majority of output from our Salisbury facility is distributed to the consumer replacement market through our strong Australia-wide retail network," he said.

"Therefore, we believe this presents tyre retailers with a significant opportunity, as consumers will need to maintain these vehicles for longer - including fitting new replacement tyres.

"From purely a Bridgestone point of view, we also see an opportunity to reinforce the quality of our product with our consumer market. When times are tough, consumers will revert to brands they trust. And there are few more trusted than Bridgestone."

Mr Hara said no further closedowns were planned for 2009.

Bridgestone Australia Ltd. is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the largest tyre manufacturer in the world, and employs more than 1500 at facilities around Australia including 600 at its major tyre manufacturing plant in Salisbury, South Australia. Bridgestone Australia Ltd. is a major supplier to manufacturers such as Holden, HSV, Kenworth and Volvo Trucks, and is a major tyre and service provider to most major transport operators and retails tyres through its own franchise channels - Bridgestone Select and Bridgestone Tyre Centres - as well as other channels.