At the presentation of its 2015 mid-term management plan, Bridgestone announced that it will reorganize its R&D and manufacturing base located in Kodaira City, Tokyo, in order to “accelerate technology and business model innovation for the future”.
In the R&D field, the Bridgestone Group is to “propose solutions to create new customer value that anticipates changes in society, rather than the existing approach of simply developing technologies for individual products”. In order to achieve this goal, Bridgestone will strengthen its basic research, production technologies and testing/evaluation methods.
Furthermore, the company says it will foster open innovation through active cooperation with outside entities – starting with industry-government-academia partnerships – and establish new facilities specifically for this purpose, enabling the exchange of human resources and technologies within and outside the company. In all, it is expecting to invest about US$250m in the R&D project, with construction slated to begin in 2017, with the successive opening of these facilities beginning in 2018.
At the same time, Bridgestone will transfer and consolidate the production of radial tires for passenger cars (PSR) and light trucks (LTR) from its Tokyo Plant, also located in Kodaira, to other domestic plants, by June 2016. The company will continue the production of radial tires for aircraft (APR) at the site.