As a result of excessive cost cutting brought on by the current market situations, Bridgestone is closing down its facility in Papanui, Christchurch, post which 275 jobs will be axed. Similar fate awaits the firm's unit in Adelaide, in South Australia. The company's owners in Japan blamed the intense cost competition which is hitting markets globally. 600 jobs will be lost when the plant in Adelaide will close.
Stressing that the decision has been one of the toughest that the company ever had to take, it was stated, "Despite continued efforts to improve cost competitiveness at both plants, international competitive forces have been making tyre manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand increasingly difficult to the point where the operations in both countries are no longer viable".
The Bridgestone Papanui plant, one of the biggest employers in the area, was inaugurated in 1947 and produced the first ever tyre in New Zealand.
While the tyre company will close down the Papanui unit by the end of the year, the Australian counter part's closure will be no later than April 30, 2010. The company has said that affected employees would receive a full entitlement.