LAS VEGAS (Sept. 25, 2012) — Bridgestone Americas, citing strong demand for giant loader tires, will boost capacity in the coming months at its Bloomington, Ill., bias-ply OTR tire plant with a $27.3 million investment that's in addition to a $19.5 million project already under way at plant.
Bridgestone did not elaborate on the scope of the expansion, other than to say the investment will go primarily toward new equipment and will create 47 jobs. Bridgestone disclosed the expansion at a press conference today during the quadrennial MINExpo in Las Vegas, where it is exhibiting.
Capacity at the the 47-year-old factory is given as 300 tires a day. Employment is expected to hit 460 next year when the current expansion project is finished.
“The strong demand for giant loader tires is…exceeding supply,” said Ken Weaver, president, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales Division, Bridgestone Americas.
“This additional expansion will better position us to respond to the continued market demand we expect to see, and to meet global growth in the mining sector.”
“Both of these announcements help further establish our commitment to this industry and serving the needs of our customers,” said Kurt Danielson, president, Bridgestone Commercial Solutions. “We want to confirm our position as a leader in this market, and these expansions are just one step in that process.”
Bridgestone's range of Firestone-brand bias loader tires includes the Duraload DT and SDT, Super Rock Grip DT, DT LD and LD, according to the business unit's web site.