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Bridgestone plant a world leader
Bridgestone plant manager Tim Painter.jpg

Tire demand will dictate Bridgestone’s next expansion in Warren County.

“We have ground that’s prepared for expansion,” said plant manager Tim Painter during a presentation on Thursday to members of the Industrial Development Board. “The way we have it set up, it will be like a new plant next to our current plant. When exactly that expansion takes place will come down to global demand. I don’t know when global demand will dictate it. We sell every tire we make.”

Painter said our local Bridgestone has 1,105 workers, a figure which includes contract employees.

He said over 200 employees were hired last year.

Retention has been tough on the night shift with 2 years being the average length of seniority on the night crew.

Bridgestone is in its 31st year of manufacturing truck and bus radial tires in Warren County. The company has 180 manufacturing and research and development facilities around the globe. The headquarters of Bridgestone Americas is located in Nashville on 4th Avenue.

Bridgestone’s most recent expansion, a $40 million investment, increased the plant’s capacity from 9,150 tires per day to 9,400 tires.

Painter emphasized that our local plant is one of the global leaders in the entire Bridgestone organization. It is No. 1 in volume, No. 1 in productivity, and No. 1 in energy costs when it comes to bus and truck tire production.

“There are 27 different compounds in a tire,” said Painter. “We take it from the raw materials and produce a finished tire.”

While not done locally, Painter said Bridgestone also manufactures aircraft tires, the lifespan of which is determined by the number of landings. Tires produced for mining vehicles in Aikin, S.C., are high-tech with their own sensors due to the huge amount of stress placed on them.

In addition to tires, Bridgestone also makes other items like conveyor belts, golf balls and bicycles.

The presentation was for information purposes only during the Industrial Development Board’s monthly meeting. IDB executive director Don Alexander periodically arranges such presentations in an effort to keep IDB members informed about our local industries.