Bridgestone Corp. commissioned its new 1.5-million-sq-ft facility in Aiken County, GA on Nov. 18.
The nearly $1 billion giant tire plant is the largest manufacturing investment in corporate history and will be the first Bridgestone facility to produce 49 in. to 63 in. tires for mining and quarry operations.
Gary Garfield, the chief executive officer for Bridgestone Americas said the move to build the mining tires in America was a strategic move by the corporation to be more nimble to changes in customer demand. It should also improve the global supply system.
It took three years from the announcement in the summer of 2011 to open the facility. The plant has 350 employees with a target of 550 over the next couple of years.
The tires range from 8-feet tall to 13-feet tall and can weigh as much as 13,000 pounds, said Ron Brooks, the plant manager for the new facility.