Groundbreaking held for Bridgestone’s Joliette plant expansion
In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of its car and light truck tyre factory in Joliette, Canada, last Thursday Bridgestone Americas officially broke ground on expansion work at the plant. Upwards of CAD$300 million (£178.1 million) will be invested over a period of five years and will see the installation of new equipment installed at the Joliette site that will lift production capacity by 3,000 tyres per day to a total of 20,000 tyres a day by 2023.
“Today is a momentous day for all of us at the Joliette Plant and across Bridgestone Canada, as we celebrate 50 years of operations and break ground on this pivotal expansion, which will allow us to grow to meet the emerging needs of our customers,” said Joliette plant manager Robert Verreault. “Our investment in updated equipment and improved manufacturing processes reflects our ongoing commitment to identifying new, cost-effective and innovative ways to serve consumers, dealers and original equipment manufacturers. Canada continues to represent an important market for our company, and this investment represents a tremendous opportunity for Bridgestone, Joliette, the Lanaudière region and the North American markets by enhancing the long-term viability of this facility.”
Verreault was joined at the event by several Bridgestone leaders, including Gordon Knapp, chief operating officer of Bridgestone Americas and chairman, chief executive officer and president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. During the proceedings, Knapp congratulated the Joliette plant’s current and retired workforce on their “hard work and contributions to the plant’s success” over the past half a century. “With its long-standing relationship to the Joliette community, as well as its commitment to environmental best practices, I know this plant will continue to showcase the values and priorities of Bridgestone Americas for many years to come.”
Built in 1965 as a Firestone factory, the Joliette plant started its operations in 1966 and today specialises in the manufacture of passenger, SUV and light truck tyres. The 150 millionth tyre was produced in Joliette in 2014. A total of 1,300 people are employed at the facility, making it the largest private employer in the region.