Bridgestone Americas announced a major expansion and modernization of its Warren County, Tennessee, truck and bus radial (TBR) tire plant located in Morrison. The $550 million investment will add 380 new jobs and expand the plant’s existing footprint by 850,000 square feet to support increased capacity. According to Bridgestone, this will help accelerate the use of advanced technologies that support cleaner, safer and more efficient commercial truck and bus fleets.
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 U.S. to nearly 10,000, the company said. The investment will also allow for all tires made in Warren County to be equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that enable more efficient asset management and optimization of fleets’ investments in tires, including retreading.
“Bridgestone’s expansion in Morrison is a great example of Tennessee’s economic vitality and our ability to attract new investment across a broad range of industries. I am proud that Bridgestone’s talented workforce manufactures high quality products at its Warren County, Tennessee, facility that are used by consumers around the globe," said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee.
The plant will incorporate technology for digital readiness in tires, including the integration of tire-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.
Tire Plant Expansion
The expansion of the 32-year-old facility is expected to begin before the end of this year, with construction expected to be substantially completed by May 2024. 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 square feet.
“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 state of Tennessee and Warren County’s committed partnership, which we celebrate today as an essential element of this plant’s continued success,” said Bridgestone Americas President and CEO Paolo Ferrari. “Our Warren County plant team plays a vital role in supporting our company’s commitment to providing safe and sustainable mobility solutions.”
The Warren County Tire Plant is one of the company’s most productive operations globally. The facility shipped its one millionth tire in 1993, only three years after it opened. That same year, the plant produced nearly 2,500 tires per day. The plant produced its 70 millionth tire in October 2021.
“Our production and manufacturing capabilities continue to evolve with our products to meet the needs of our customers,” said Scott Damon, chief operating officer of Bridgestone Americas. “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.”
Supporting the E8 Commitment
The expansion supports Bridgestone’s E8 commitment, which consists of eight Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) that Bridgestone has committed to creating together with employees, society, partners and customers to realize a sustainable society.
Initiatives at the Warren County Tire Plant have focused on education and environmental conservation and preservation. In 2004, the plant became a certified wildlife habitat site with 680 acres devoted to providing natural areas and grasses. Community and environmental partnerships led to the creation of the Bridgestone Environmental Education Classroom and Habitat (BEECH), which now serves as an educational classroom for area students as part of Warren County Schools’ science curriculum. Since its inception, thousands of local students have visited the site to take environmental classes and experience educational nature trails.
The Warren County Tire Plant has earned numerous awards for its workplace safety programs, including being recognized as a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star site by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. VPP status is awarded to companies that have comprehensive safety and health programs with injury rates below the industry’s national average.
Curious for more? In July, Bridgestone and Pilot introduced a fleet tire monitoring and service network, leveraging Bridgestone Fleet Care mobility solutions and Pilot Company’s network of travel centers to provide more actionable fleet tire intelligence. Tire design has also come a long way over the years, check out these advancements in tire design to learn more!
Originally posted on Work Truck Online