Bridgestone Americas broke ground on the expansion of its Wilson, N.C., passenger tire manufacturing facility on March 9.
“Today is a momentous day for all of us at the Wilson plant and across Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, 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 of the Wilson plant. “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.”
According to Bridgestone, the five-year project will cost $164 million and will expand the facility to help increase capacity and meet market demands.
Nearly $100 million will fund phases one and two to add 67,000 square feet for new tire assembly machines, materials handling systems, curing presses and other equipment to increase capacity by 3,000 tires per day. By 2018, Bridgestone expects the plant to increase its daily production from 32,000 to 35,000. The new equipment will also help the plant meet demand for higher rim size tires, the tiremaker said.
The plant previously added 85,000 square feet in 1999.
The Wilson facility is Bridgestone’s most environmentally sustainable plants, the U.S’s largest industrial employer and the first manufacturing facility for Bridgestone’s run-flat tires.