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Bridgestone inaugurates upgrade, capacity expansion

Japanese tire maker Bridgestone on Tuesday inaugurated a HUF 9.2 billion technology upgrade and capacity expansion at its plant in Tatabánya (NW of Budapest), state news agency MTI reported.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said the government supported the investment, which is creating 100 jobs, with an HUF 826 million grant.

The investment will raise output from an annual 5 million to 7.2 mln units by 2020, while a 10,000 square-meter warehouse will boost storage capacity at the base by 180,000 to 600,000 tires.

Melinda Topolcsik, managing director of Bridgestone Tatabánya, said the local unit aims to sell 40% of its output directly to carmakers in future, and to fully convert the base into a "smart factory" by 2023.

Bridgestone has invested close to HUF 130 bln at the Tatabánya base so far. The unit had revenue of HUF 66.5 bln last year, MTI noted.