Japanese multinational tyre producer Bridgestone will invest 47 million euros at its plant in Basauri (Biscay/Bizkaia) in the next five years to increase automation and meet its strategic plan, which contemplates that by 2018 this plant will produce 50% more than in 2013 and reduce its production costs by almost 39%.
The Basauri plant, specialising in the production of truck and bus tyres, has a workforce of around 932 people, 200 workers less than at the end of 2012, when the company had to downsize.
The measures taken include increasing plant automation (with the investment of €47M), implementing a series of energy saving measures to reduce the energy bill by 36% and reducing labour costs, which involves the latest collective agreement signed with the workforce.
The agreement has enabled production shifts to be reduced to four; basic salaries have been frozen; seniority has been frozen; other bonuses have been reduced by 17%, the corporate contribution to pension schemes has been reduced; and two systems of flexible working days, adapted to production demand, have been established. All this will allow 50% extra production with the same labour costs and without having to resort to temporary lay-offs if demand slumps.
Bridgestone Hispania has four production plants (three making tyres and one textiles) with a total workforce of 2,944 people and annual sales of €830 million. In Europe the company has nine production centres with 12,500 workers.