The Bangkok Post reports that Bridgestone plans to expand production at its Thai Saraburi factory by 55% to 10 million tyres a year to meet rising demand at home and abroad.

According to the report, Bridgestone Sales (Thailand) Co has announced that the expansion by Thai Bridgestone Co would be carried out over the next two years at a cost of about 3.5 billion bath ($83.3 million). The plant will make tyres for both cars and pickups.

The Saraburi plant, which began operations in 1995, has a current capacity of 6.57 million tyres a year. Output will be lifted to 10.22 million a year in 2004.

The Bangkok Post says that the company’s other Thai factory, in Pathum Thani, will retain its current capacity of 2.55 million tyres a year.

Last week Bridgestone posted a strong rebound in first-half earnings and announced a $250 million programme to boost its global production capacity.

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The company said that it will raise annual car tyre output by 8 million, or 5%. In its first major expansion since the Firestone recall affair, the company said it would lift production capacity at plants in Asia, Latin America and Poland over two to three years. No new investments were planned for the United States.