By Liz White, UT staffTokyo-Bridgestone Corp. has offically opened its new Chinese plant making urethane foam for car seats. Production started in August this year, ahead of the opening, to meet an expected increase in demand in the Chinese market, said Bridgestone.The foam plant will be operated by Guangzhou Bridgestone Chemical Products Co. Ltd, a joint venture making urethane foam for vehicle seats in Guangzhou City. The JV was set up by Bridgestone and the automotive components arm of Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co. Ltd. In July 2004, said Bridgestone’s statement on the opening. About 130 people attended the 13-Oct ceremony, including Chinese government and municipal officials. Bridgestone was represented by board member Osamu Mori, in charge of electro-materials and chemical products. Li Qu Ming, chairman of the JV company, was also present. “The automobile industry in the Guangzhou region is expanding fast and we expect development to continue going forward,”explained Mori at the opening ceremony. Bridgestone Group now has more than 10 plants in China, making tyres at plants in Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuxi, and Huizhou (currently under construction). It also operates plants for antivibration automotive components in Changzhou; for rubber fenders and crawlers in Wuxi; for bicycles in Changzhou; for golf balls in Shenzhen; for industrial-use urethane foam in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou; and for high-pressure rubber hose assemblies in Changzhou. “
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