MORRISON, Tenn. — With Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and other state, regional and local dignitaries in attendance, Bridgestone Americas Inc. held a ceremonial ground-breaking Aug.15 for a $550 million expansion of its Warren County truck/bus tire plant that's been under way since last September.
The project will expand the plant's size 43% to over 2.8 million square feet, boost capacity by nearly a third to 12,000 units day and create 380 jobs, boosting employment to more than 1,400 workers. Bridgestone anticipates have the project complete by year-end 2026.
The investment will include the addition of assets that will allow the plant to produce tires that incorporate the company's Enliten "technology stack," a suite of technologies used to optimize tires for rolling resistance and wear, as well as build tires with integrated RFID (radio frequency identification) tags.
"This investment will … pave the way for Bridgestone to bolster its sustainable solution offerings for fleets," Paulo Ferrari, president and CEO, Bridgestone Americas and joint global chief operating officer for Bridgestone Corp., said, referencing upgrades that will incorporate technology for digital readiness in tires, including the integration of tire-mounted sensors that support advanced, data-driven insights for more efficient fleet management.
The expansion project also will include artificial-intelligence control technology designed to increase productivity apply knowledge and data in a digital manufacturing environment. These technologies combined will help accelerate Bridgestone's progress toward its sustainability goals, including carbon neutrality by 2050, the company said.
Ferrari also thanked the state of Tennessee and Warren County for their support, which he called "foundational" to the expansion. Bridgestone did not elaborate on the type or scale of support it's received for the project.
In his remarks, Lee said the investment reflects Tennessee's strong business climate, highly skilled workforce and central location, factors that help attract companies from around the globe to locate and expand in the Volunteer State.