Bridgestone Americas has broken ground on the expansion of its passenger car tire manufacturing facility in Wilson, North Carolina, USA. A five-year US$164m investment will see the installment of new machinery, expansion of production capacity and lowering of costs at the US facility.
Phases one and two of the project, which will total nearly US$100m, will focus on the addition of 167,000ft² of manufacturing space to accommodate new tire assembly machines, materials handling systems, curing presses and associated equipment to increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day, bringing daily production to 35,000 by 2018. The new equipment will also enable the plant to respond to the increase in global demand for higher rim size tires, as well as improve quality and productivity while reducing costs.
“Today is a momentous day for all of us at the Wilson plant and across Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO), as we break ground on this important expansion that will allow us to grow our production and manufacturing capabilities to meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Michael Darr, plant manager.
“We’d like to thank the Wilson community for its support over the last 42 years and we’re excited to begin this next chapter in our plant’s history.”
Meanwhile Bridgestone is also expanding its Canadian passenger and light truck tire manufacturing facility in Joliette, Quebec, as part of a five-year investment that could total upward of C$300m (US$250m). The multiphase expansion of the facility is expected to break ground in 2016, and will help the plant meet market demand by producing larger diameter tires that fit today’s pickup trucks and SUVs, as well as increase productivity and enhance the plant’s global competitive position.
New technologically advanced equipment will be phased in over a five-year period in an effort to help the plant support the significant North American markets and contribute to improved tire performance. The overall project will help increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day, to bring daily production to 20,000 tires per day by 2023.
March 22, 2016