Bridgestone expands plant to meet demand for smart truck tires

September 6, 2022

Ryan Witkowski

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In order to keep up with the demand for more intelligent tires in the trucking industry, Bridgestone Americas is making a substantial investment to expand its plant in Morrison, Tenn.

On Aug. 25, the tire manufacturer announced plans for a $550 million, 850,000-square-foot expansion and modernization of its Warren County, Tenn., truck and bus radial tire plant. Bridgestone said a news release the expansion was needed “to support increased capacity and to accelerate the use of advanced technologies that support cleaner, safer and more efficient commercial truck and bus fleets.”

On top of the added space, the plant will also help to advance tire technology for commercial vehicles. After the renovation, all tires made at the new facility will be equipped with radio-frequency identification tags. Bridgestone said the technology wil, “support advanced, data-driven insights for more efficient fleet management.”

For Bridgestone, the announced expansion to forward tire technology should come as no surprise. In fact, some of the demand for smarter commercial vehicle tires was self-generated. In July, the tire dealer announced a partnership with Pilot Co. to establish an advanced tire monitoring and service network for commercial fleets. The initial phase of the project – which is expected to begin in summer 2023 – will be found in 200 Pilot Flying J locations across the country.

The company says the Warren County tire plant is one of its most productive operations globally. Opened in 1990, the plant produced its 70 millionth tire in October 2021.

Scott Damon, chief operating officer of Bridgestone Americas, said the expansion will help the plant to continue to thrive in the future.

“Our production and manufacturing capabilities continue to evolve with our products to meet the needs of our customers,” Damon said in a statement. “We are proud of our team for their 32 years of manufacturing excellence in Warren County, and our continued success is a tribute to the Warren teammates who remain driven and committed to providing our customers with the best truck and bus tires in the world. This investment will further improve the plant’s global competitive position and secure our future growth.”

The expansion at the plant is projected to result in 380 new jobs. For the Japanese tire maker, the additional openings will bring the company’s manufacturing workforce in the U.S. to nearly 10,000 employees.

“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,” Bridgestone Americas president and CEO Paolo Ferrari said in a statement.

The company said expansion on the 32-year-old facility is expected to begin before the end of this year. The construction is expected to be completed by May 2024. LL

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