Bridgestone Americas on Monday announced it would invest $180 million over the next 10 years in its passenger tire manufacturing plant in Wilson. The announcement follows a five-year $164 million expansion announced in January 2016.
The $180 million will fund a new 50,000 square foot building to house a “state-of-the-art” rubber mixer and create 16 new jobs in 2018, according to a press release from the Nashvill, Tenn., company. It is unclear if the company will receive economic incentives from the state or county for the new jobs or investment.
The combined expansion adds space for new tire assembly machines, curing presses and associated equipment to increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day or 35,000 tires a day by 2018 to meet demand for higher rim diameter tires.
The plant, which has been in Wilson for 43 years, was last expanded in 1999. It is now about 2.5 million square feet and employs 1,750 people, according to the company.
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In a statement the plant’s manager Michael Darr said: “This total investment reflects Bridgestone’s global commitment to meeting marketplace demands, increasing capacity and utilizing innovative manufacturing processes. These are investments not only in the customers of Bridgestone products but also in our local community and in our team members.”