Bridgestone to close Adelaide tyre plant image

Bridgestone Australia is to close its tyre manufacturing plant in Adelaide with the loss of 600 jobs.

The company said on Friday it would also close a tyre production plant in Christchurch, New Zealand with the loss of 275 jobs.

The Adelaide plant has been operating since 1965 and will close by the end of April 2010, while the Christchurch plant has run since 1947 and will close by the end of 2009.

All workers have been promised their full entitlements.

Bridgestone said despite efforts to improve cost competitiveness at both plants, international forces had made tyre manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand increasingly difficult.

“As the last tyre manufacturer in Australia and New Zealand, we have worked hard over many years to avoid today’s decision,” senior executive director Andrew Moffatt said in a statement.

“However, the unfortunate reality is that Bridgestone Australia can no longer commercially justify the continued operation of these facilities.

“We are proud of the fact that we have managed to keep these two manufacturing facilities open for so long and have provided employment and economic benefits to so many people over such a long period.”