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Bridgestone to invest $164m to expand its Wilson plant in US

ABR Staff Writer Published 10 March 2016

Bridgestone has announced that it will invest $164m over a period of five years to expand its passenger tire manufacturing plant in Wilson, North Carolina.

The company wants to improve the plant's global competitive position by installing modern technology, expanding production capacity and lowering costs.

Wilson plant is a 42 year old, and it had undergone expansion in 1999.

Bridgestone Wilson Plant, plant manager, Michael Darr said: "Today is a momentous day for all of us at the Wilson plant and across Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, as we break ground on this important expansion that will allow us to grow our production and manufacturing capabilities to meet the changing needs of our customers."

"We'd like to thank the Wilson community for its support over the last 42 years, and we're excited to begin this next chapter in our plant's history."

A total of $100m will be invested in two phases, with a focus on adding 167,000ft2of manufacturing space to accommodate new tire assembly machines, materials handling system, curing presses and associated equipment to increase the capacity of the plant.

The present capacity of the plant is 32,000 tires per day and the company wants to increase this to 35,000 per day by 2018.

Bridgestone said that the expansion will help in catering to the increasing global demand for higher rim size tires, as well as improving quality and productivity while reducing costs.

Starting this year, the plant will start the production of DriveGuard tires, which are the company's premium, all season replacement tires which can go up to 50 miles to safety after a puncture.