Bridgestone wants to be the world's biggest tire manufacturer, and it's planning to spend $5.2 billion over three years to get there. Currently, Bridgestone is number two, behind Michelin.
As part of its expansion plans, Bridgestone announced today that it will spend about $100 million to build a new synthetic rubber plant in China, the company's third such factory worldwide. Both of the other plants are in the U.S. The new factory will go on line in early 2008, supplying Bridgestone's tire plants in China and elsewhere in Asia.

In November, Bridgestone announced it will construct a new R&D center in China, aimed at improving raw materials for tire manufacturing. Both plants are part of the company's strategic plan to better control the quality and supply of raw materials. Rising raw materials costs depressed company profits in 2005.

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