Bridgestone Corporation is to increase capacity at its Chinese plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

The company said the move was in response to the "expected medium-to-long term increase in demand for radial passenger tyres in [China]."

Bridgestone applied to Chinese authorities for investment approval to increase production and decided to boost capacity after receiving that approval, it said in a statement.

The tyre maker intends to boost Wuxi production from the second half of 2011. It plans to spend US$98m to increase daily output by 4,200 units to an estimated 12,000.

"The Bridgestone group, in addition to bolstering its supply capacity for the China market, which is forecast to grow over the medium to long term, is continuing to develop its infrastructure, enabling it to rapidly supply high-quality products that meet local market needs. Including Wuxi the group now has a global network of 48 tyre plants in 22 nations," the statement added.