WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — Spurred by growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), Firestone Industrial Products L.L.C. is planning to expand capacity for air springs at its Williamsburg plant with a $50 million investment.
A subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Inc., Firestone Industrial Products said it plans to expand capacity over the coming 18 months at its 32-year-old factory in Williamsburg by an undisclosed amount.
The project will include adding 68,000 square feet to the 375,000-sq.-ft. plant, the company said. The expanded capacity will result in the addition of 250 jobs once the expansion is complete in December 2022.
According to the office of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, the Firestone facility in Williamsburg currently employs more than 500 and manufactures 4 million parts annually.
"With the increase in vehicle electrification, Firestone air suspension systems are in high demand among the most innovative and forward-thinking original equipment manufacturers globally," Emily Poladian, president of Firestone Industrial Products, said.
In addition to improving ride comfort and handling, air-spring suspensions can increase electric vehicle range and help protect batteries from road impact and overheating, the company said.
"Firestone air suspensions are optimally designed with electric vehicles in mind," Mr. Poladian said.
"Compared to traditional coil spring suspensions, our air suspensions are designed to help improve the handling and comfort of heavier electric vehicles and can even help improve EV range by lowering the vehicle to help improve aerodynamics."
The products designed by Firestone achieve these properties because of the expertise the company has, rooted in a decades-long experience in designing and supplying parts to commercial manufacturers throughout North America.
Firestone producers air springs and related products at the plant for a number of applications including commercial trucks and trailers, passenger vehicles, motor homes, buses, agricultural equipment, rail and industrial applications.
"This company has been an important corporate partner in our state for decades, and this investment by Firestone in support of the emerging electric vehicle market ensures that will continue to be the case for years to come," Mr. Beshear said.