Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (Bridgestone Americas) today announced plans for an additional $74 million investment to further expand capacity at its primary agricultural tire manufacturing facility in Des Moines, Iowa. Combined with the ongoing $77 million investment project announced in March of 2010, Bridgestone Americas will invest a total of $151 million in the facility to confirm the company’s commitment to maintaining its leadership position in the agricultural tire industry.
The investment at the facility will be used to enhance the core manufacturing areas of tire building, curing and necessary support equipment, and will allow the company to meet the growing demand for Firestone-brand radial farm tires both in North America and globally. These improvements are expected to be completed in 2013.
“Enhancements to the Des Moines facility will allow us to grow our market position, develop advanced solutions and deliver the most innovative tire technology available to the agricultural industry,” said Ken Allen, President, Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division, Bridgestone Americas. “This investment is also a great way to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Harvey Firestone's introduction of the first pneumatic tire specifically for agricultural use. Since 1932, the Firestone brand has continued to build on this leadership position and on the tire technology that revolutionized farming.”
The farming industry continues to move towards larger and more efficient farm equipment, but at the same time producers want to minimize ground compaction. To meet these needs, the farm equipment industry increasingly requires larger and wider radial tires that provide better traction and an increased tire footprint. The Des Moines plant manufactures these types of tires.
The facility employs 1,673 people, and has been an integral part of the Des Moines community and Central Iowa since the mid-1940s. In addition to manufacturing Firestone-brand agricultural tires, this facility also produces tires for the forestry and construction equipment markets.