Expanded Bridgestone US plant begins production
On 1 April, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations celebrated the implementation of capacity expansion projects at its Aiken County plant in South Carolina. The facility has begun production of an additional 12,750 passenger car radial and light truck radials per day following a US$346 million investment that has created almost 300 full-time jobs.
In July 2011, Bridgestone Americas announced the first phase of the plant’s expansion, a $135 million investment designed to increase daily capacity by 4,750 tyres. A supplemental expansion was announced in September 2011 to increase the plant’s production by an additional 8,000 tyres per day. Together, the two projects have increased the plant’s area by 740,000 square feet to 2.42 million square feet, and the result is a rated production capacity of 37,750 tyres per day or approximately 13.4 million tyres annually.
This capacity expansion at the existing Aiken County passenger car and light truck tyre plant is intended to meet growing demand in key market segments, including ultra-high performance and light truck/SUV tyres. “The addition of new, more advanced tyre building machines provides the plant with an additional level of versatility and gives the plant even greater flexibility and speed in responding to shifts in market demand,” stated Bridgestone upon announcing the start of production. “Over the long term this versatility and flexibility will help the company address customer needs by improving the fill rates of these tyres.”