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Bridgestone to invest another $180M in Wilson tire plant

Posted January 9

 Bridgestone Tires
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— Bridgestone Americas said Monday that it plans to invest another $180 million in its Wilson plant over the next 10 years.

The investment, which officials said is in addition to the $164 million expansion announced a year ago, includes a state-of-the-art rubber mixer, which is expected to add 16 jobs, as well as funding for innovative manufacturing processes and technologies.

The expansion will allow the plant to meet global demand for higher-rim-diameter tires, as well as improve quality and productivity while reducing costs, officials said. The project will increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day, bringing daily production to 35,000 tires by 2018.

"This total investment reflects Bridgestone’s global commitment to meeting marketplace demands, increasing capacity and utilizing innovative manufacturing processes," Michael Darr, Wilson plant manager, said in a statement. "These are investments not only in the customers of Bridgestone products but also in our local community and in our team members."

Groundbreaking for the 50,000-square-foot building addition for the new mixer is expected in the spring, with the start of production slated for the fall of 2018.

The 43-year-old Wilson plant, which employs about 1,750 people and is Wilson County’s largest industrial employer, was the first Bridgestone tire manufacturing facility to produce run-flat tires.

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