NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Americas Inc. is planning to expand warehouse capacity at its U.S. passenger and light truck tire plants in Aiken County, S.C., and Wilson, N.C.
The investment of approximately $72 million will enhance operational excellence and further increase the company's ability to serve North American tire dealers and customers, the company said.
In Aiken, the warehouse will be expanded from 512,000 square feet to 784,000 square feet at an estimated cost of $34 million. The Wilson warehouse will be expanded from 465,000 square feet to 753,000 square feet at an estimated cost of $38 million.
The new facilities are expected to open in 2020.
"These expansions will further strengthen our distribution footprint in the U.S. and improve our ability to get the right tires to the right place with speed and accuracy," Erik Seidel, president, consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, said.
"With their strategic locations and increased capability, the new warehouses will enable the company to reduce transportation costs and shorten time-to-market to meet customer demands across North America," Brad Blizzard, executive director, logistics, Bridgestone Americas, said.
Bridgestone has operated the Aiken plant in Graniteville, S.C., since 1998, producing passenger and light truck tires for original equipment manufacturers and retail. Last month, Ford Motor Co. announced it the Ecopia H/L 422 Plus, which is made at the Aiken facility, as an original equipment fitment on select models of the 2020 Ford Escape SUV.
Bridgestone also operates a second factory in Aiken County, the Aiken County Off Road Tire Plant in Trenton, S.C., producing large and ultra large off-the-road radial tires.
According to the company, the Wilson plant is the single largest industrial employer in Wilson County. The site "has played a critical role in the Bridgestone Americas manufacturing group during its 45-year history."