Bridgestone Corp. plans to shift tire production from its factory in Kuroiso, Tochigi Prefecture, to other facilities after a fire Monday caused the plant to grind to a halt.
By shifting production, the company hopes to maintain minimum supplies and thus minimize the impact on the automobile industry, company officials said Tuesday.
But some automakers, which do not have sufficient tire inventories, are already beginning to consider procuring tires from other makers, industry officials said.
The Bridgestone officials said the company will allocate tires to those carmakers that are running out on a preferential basis.
Bridgestone’s other production facilities are approaching full capacity and have little room left to expand output.
The fire at the Tochigi plant was contained Tuesday after burning for about 24 hours. But massive amounts of raw materials for tires were still smoldering.
The plant is one of Bridgestone’s key factories, producing 5,700 tires daily for trucks and buses and 16,300 tires for passenger cars. The plant accounts for 13 percent of the company’s total domestic tire output.
The company will shift production of truck and bus tires to facilities in Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture and that of passenger car tires to another plant in Tochigi Prefecture.