The investment in the Abilene plant comes on the heels of two other major investments that the tire maker has announced in recent weeks. In the last month, Bridgestone disclosed investments in its North American operations that total more than $600 million.
With one of its largest U.S. capital investments to date, Bridgestone Americas said earlier this month that it will undertake a $550 million expansion of its truck and bus tire plant in Middle Tennessee.
The Warren County location produces premium Bridgestone and Firestone TBR tires for both on- and off-highway use in steer, drive and wide-base applications.
The major expansion for the Nashville-based tire maker will add 850,000 square feet to the 1.97 million-sq.-ft. facility, bringing the total square footage to about 2.83 million square feet.
Capacity there is expected to increase by 32 percent, the tire maker said. Current capacity at the plant is 9,400 tires per day.
Set to begin this fall and be complete by May 2024, the expansion also will add about 300 new jobs for the local Tennessee economy, Bridgestone said.
Total employment at the plant will increase from roughly 1,100 to 1,400, according to Bridgestone.
Bridgestone also has pledged to step up its efforts to bring more sustainable domestic rubber sources into its supply chain, saying last month that it would invest $42 million to help commercialize guayule rubber.
Bridgestone's guayule roots run deep, anchored in research and development efforts that began in 2012 when the company broke ground for its research center in Mesa, Ariz.
Since that time, Bridgestone has invested more than $100 million in its research and development of the alternative natural rubber and today operates a 281-acre guayule farm in Eloy, Ariz., in addition to its Mesa research facility.
Bridgestone Americas Inc. is the largest rubber products maker in North America, according to Rubber News' most recent ranking of North American Rubber Sales Leaders. The company's total rubber products sales—which includes both tire and non-tire products—came in at around $11.5 billion.
Globally, Bridgestone Corp. is the world's second-largest tire maker according to the most recent Rubber News data. The company reported worldwide sales of $22.17 billion in 2021.