Bridgestone brings off-road radial tire production to the U.S.

By |  November 18, 2014

Bridgestone Americas Inc. opened its first giant off-road radial tire plant in the United States. The company marked the opening of the Bridgestone Americas Off Road Radial Tire Manufacturing Facility in Aiken County, S.C., with a ceremony that included company representatives from around the world and state and local dignitaries.

The plant, which spans 1.5 million sq. ft., is producing off-road radial tires for the aggregates and mining industries. Bridgestone initially announced plans for the facility in 2011, committing $970 million to build the plant, as well as expand production capacity at its steel cord manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tenn., and Japan.

“This plant is the biggest single investment Bridgestone has ever made,” said Gary Garfield, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Inc., during remarks at the ceremony.

Also delivering remarks during the plant’s grand-opening ceremony were Ron Brooks, plant manager; Kazuhisa Nishigai, Bridgestone Corp. COO; Tomohiro Fukuda, vice president and officer of Bridgestone Corp.’s specialty tire business; and Steve Shelton, senior vice president of Bridgestone Americas’ technology, manufacturing and procurement.

A number of local dignitaries were also present. Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) delivered congratulations to Bridgestone through a video.

The tires manufactured at the Aiken County plant will serve the U.S., Canadian and Latin American markets, says Kurt Danielson, president of Bridgestone Americas’ U.S. and Canada Commercial Group. The largest radial tire the company is producing from the facility measures 63 inches. Bridgestone previously imported off-road radial tires from a plant in Japan.

“This allows our customers to get the tire must faster,” says Danielson, who estimates that it takes 30 days for a giant radial tire to be shipped from Japan to the U.S.

According to Bridgestone, the new plant is the company’s second tire-manufacturing plant in Aiken County. The company has operated a passenger tire facility in Graniteville, S.C., since 1998. About 350 people currently work at the new plant. Bridgestone expects to create an additional 200 jobs when the plant reaches full production in the next two to three years.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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