WILSON, N.C. (Jan. 5, 2016) ― Bridgestone Americas plans to expand capacity at its Wilson passenger tire plant nearly 10 percent over the coming five years with a $164 million investment.
Bridgestone said the investment will help it meet market demands and invest in newer, more efficient technology. The Nashville, Tenn.-based tire maker anticipates breaking ground on the multi-phase project early this year.
The project will boost daily capacity at the 42-year-old factory by 3,000 units to 35,000 units by 2018, the company said, and will include capacity for the firm's DriveGuard all-season run-flat replacement tires.
The investment/expansion will not result in any new jobs, Bridgestone said, as the changes are designed to enhance efficiency. The non-union plant employed 1,785 at last report.
Phases one and two of the project, which will total nearly $100 million, will add 167,000 square feet of manufacturing space to accommodate new tire-assembly machines, materials-handling systems, curing presses and associated equipment, Bridgestone said. The new equipment will allow the plant to respond to rising global demand for higher rim size tires, as well as improve quality and productivity while reducing costs.
“Our production and manufacturing capabilities must evolve with our products to meet the changing needs of today's consumers,” said Michael Darr, plant manager.