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Bridgestone opens new tire plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bridgestone Americas has added 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing capacity with the opening of a new plant in South Carolina.

Located in Aiken, the facility was designed to manufacture giant, off-road, radial tires for heavy haul mining trucks and aggregates applications. It is the second plant the company has built in Aiken. The first one produces passenger tires. The new plant currently employs 350 people, but Bridgestone expects to add an additional 200 over the next two-to-three years as it comes up to full production.

The facility sits on 550 acres and was built to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver construction specifications.

“Engineering large and ultra-large mining tires is a highly technical process, and Bridgestone has a long tradition of being a leader in bringing these tires to market. The opening of a new off road radial tire plant in South Carolina is a strategic business decision that will give Bridgestone the capacity to build these tires domestically and improve our supply systems globally,” said Gary Garfield, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas. “Long term, the mining segment will grow, and we are now better-positioned to respond more quickly, efficiently and reliably to the needs of our customers.”

In 2011, Bridgestone committed $970 million for facility upgrades. The off-road plant accounted for most of the investment, but money was also invested in expanding production capacity at the company’s steel cord manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Saga, Japan.

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