Bridgestone breaks ground on US$550 mn expansion of US plant

Bridgestone breaks ground on US$550 mn expansion of US plantJapanese tyre maker’s US subsidiary Bridgestone Americas recently celebrated the expansion of its Warren County, Tennessee truck and bus radial (TBR) tyre plant located in Morrison with an official groundbreaking ceremony. The US$550 million investment will add 380 new jobs and expand the plant’s existing footprint by 850,000 sq ft to support increased capacity and to accelerate the use of advanced technologies that support cleaner, safer and more efficient commercial truck and bus fleets. As part of the expansion, Warren County will be one of the first plants globally to add the capability to produce its Enliten technology stack. This tech stack is optimised for rolling resistance and wear.

The addition of these new jobs reinforces Bridgestone’s commitment to American manufacturing, bringing the total number of the company’s manufacturing workforce in the US to nearly 10,000. The investment will also allow for all tyres made in Warren to be equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that enable more efficient asset management and optimization of fleets’ investments in tyres, including retreading.

The plant will incorporate technology for digital readiness in tyres, including the integration of tyre-mounted sensors that support advanced, data-driven insights for more efficient fleet management. Bridgestone will also invest in AI control technology that increases productivity and the application of knowledge and data in a digital manufacturing environment. These technologies combined will help accelerate the company’s progress toward its sustainability goals, including carbon neutrality by 2050.

The expansion of the 33-year-old facility is underway, with construction expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2026. Employment will grow from 1,100 to more than 1,400 teammates and the plant’s footprint will grow from 1.97 million to more than 2.8 million sq ft.

“With new investment and new jobs, we are moving our Warren County Plant forward, driven by growing demand for our products, our commitment to investing in U.S. manufacturing, and our Warren team’s dedication to innovation, efficiency and quality for our customers. We appreciate the partnership we’ve received from the state of Tennessee and Warren County, which is foundational to this expansion,” said Paolo Ferrari, joint global COO, Bridgestone Corporation, and President/CEO, Bridgestone Americas. “Our company and the Warren County Plant team have a vital role to play in the transformation of mobility. This investment will expand the capabilities of this plant and pave the way for Bridgestone to bolster its sustainable solution offerings for fleets.”

The Warren County plant is one of the company’s most productive operations globally. The plant has a long history of outstanding performance and best practices in manufacturing. The facility shipped its 1 millionth tyre in 1993, only three years after it opened. That same year, the plant produced nearly 2,500 tyres/day. The plant produced its 70 millionth tyre in October 2021.