TOKYO — Japanese tiremaker Bridgestone said on Monday it will suspend operations at its 11 domestic plants, including 8 tire factories, from late April to early May to cope with dwindling demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world’s biggest tiremaker will shut down the 8 tire plants between April 29 and May 8, including its main passenger vehicle tire factory in Hikone, western Japan and its main truck and bus tire manufacturing plant in Amagi, southern Japan.
Bridgestone has a total of 15 plants in Japan, most of which make tires or other rubber products.
The company had planned to close the plants between May 3 and 6 for Japan’s Golden Week holiday but decided to extend the period for the tire factories by 6 days as tire demand for new vehicles, retail shops and exports has been slowing, a spokesman said. The closure period for 3 other plants will be extended by 2-4 days.
As of April 16, Bridgestone had suspended operations at 19 of its 51 overseas tire factories to reflect weaker demand, the spokesman said.