This capacity expansion at the existing Aiken County PSR/LTR tire plant announced today, along with the earlier expansion announcement in July, is intended to meet growing demand in key market segments, including ultra high performance and light truck/SUV tires. The addition of new, more advanced tire building machines will provide the plant with an additional level of versatility and will give the plant even greater flexibility and speed in responding to shifts in market demand. Over the long term this versatility and flexibility will help the company address customer needs by improving the fill rates of these tires.
Timeline and key facts for the PSR/LTR expansion project:
- In July the company announced the first phase of the PSR/LTR plant's expansion, a $135-million investment designed to increase daily capacity by 4,750 tires.
- The expansion announced today will, when complete, increase the plant’s tire production by an additional 8,000 tires per day.
- When fully completed, the two projects will increase the plant’s square footage by 740,000 square feet – to 2.74 million square feet – and result in a rated production capacity of 37,750 tires per day or approximately 13.4 million tires annually.
- Construction of both phases of the plant’s expansion is planned to begin in November 2011 with an expected completion date in the first quarter of 2013.
- The first production tire is projected to be produced in the expansion areas during the third quarter of 2013.
- The two PSR/LTR projects are expected to create more than 300 new full-time and contractor jobs in Aiken County when fully completed (planned for 2015).
In his remarks during the announcement in Aiken County, Garfield expressed his appreciation for the assistance received by the company in connection with the projects. "We've had tremendous support from the leadership in South Carolina including Gov. Nikki Haley, Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, County Council Chair Ronnie Young, The Economic Development Partnership as well as South Carolina Electric & Gas, readySC, the South Carolina Ports Authority, Aiken Electric Cooperative, Norfolk Southern Railroad and our local legislative leaders who have all worked collaboratively with us to help make these investments a reality. On behalf of the global Bridgestone Group of companies, I would like to express my most sincere appreciation for their support and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the state of South Carolina and Aiken County."
Gov. Haley said, "Today's announcement represents the largest initial capital investment by a company in our state's history, and we celebrate the more than 850 new jobs. This is a continuation of the good work we are doing to partner with companies. South Carolina has a great reason to smile today."
Secretary of Commerce Hitt continued, "Bridgestone Americas is a world-class manufacturer and this investment will be a real game-changer. "The company's new plant will further strengthen South Carolina's manufacturing sector, and shows that our business-friendly environment and top-notch talent continue to keep us competitive with locations across the globe."
"On behalf of the citizens of Aiken County I want to thank Bridgestone Americas for this significant new investment and job creation being announced,” said Aiken County Council Chairman Young. "The County Council works hard to create an environment where manufacturing companies can locate and be successful. We are grateful for Bridgestone Americas' confidence in our workforce and community. We look forward to working with them as they continue to grow."
"This is a great day for Bridgestone Americas and Aiken County," said Gary Stooksbury, chairman of the board of The Economic Development Partnership. "We are very appreciative that Aiken County was chosen for this new investment. This historic announcement reflects on the strong partnership that exists between Aiken County and Bridgestone Americas. The strength of our community lies with our manufacturing base."