The global community continues to support Ukraine throughout the Russian invasion with financial support and donated goods. Several OEMs have already halted exports to Russia and contributed to Ukraine during the conflict. Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone will follow suit, freezing new investments, exports, and production in Russia while pledging €3.5 M ($3.8 M USD) to the Ukraine humanitarian crisis.
The mandate will go into effect on Friday, March 18, 2022, after Bridgestone finalizes the necessary preparations. Of the $3.8M donation, Bridgestone Americas will gift $250,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Despite halting production at the Ulyanovsk plant, Bridgestone reassures customers that manufacturing and supply chains outside of Russia will remain stable. However, the brand will continue monitoring the situation and adapt accordingly.
While Bridgestone works to mitigate the impact on dealers and customers, the company isn’t forgetting about its Russian employees.
“We condemn any form of violence and hope that peace can quickly be re-established,” Bridgestone proclaimed in a released statement. “Our primary concern in this crisis is the safety of our employees and their families. We continue to care for our more than 1,000 employees in our passenger tire production plant in Ulyanovsk, Russia and our sales offices. Therefore, we will support our employees financially at this time.”
Bridgestone announced the construction of its Ulyanovsk facility in 2013 and the factory began producing tires in 2016. The project was a joint effort between Bridgestone (90 percent) and Mitsubishi (10 percent) and cost the firms ¥37.5 B ($316 M USD). The firm set up shop in Russia due to the country’s new vehicle growth potential at the time and the plant boasts a production capacity of 12,000 units per day.
However, the plant accounts for less than 2 percent of the brand’s global sales. During this time, the company’s expatriate workforce and their families will return to Japan.