Bridgestone earmarks $74 million for ag tire plant
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC plans to invest an additional $74 million in its agricultural tire manufacturing facility in Des Moines, Iowa.
The company says the investment 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.
The farming industry continues to move towards larger and more efficient farm
equipment, but at the same time producers want to minimize ground compaction, according to Bridgestone.
To meet these needs, the farm equipment industry increasingly requires larger and wider radial tires that provide better traction and an increased tire footprint. (In addition to these tires, the Des Moines plant also manufactures tires for the forestry and construction equipment markets.)
Both the new investment and the ongoing $77 million investment announced in 2010
will expand the plant's capacity. Bridgestone classifies its Des Moines facility as its "primary" ag tire plant.
“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,” says Ken Allen, president of Bridgestone's ag tire sales in the United States and Canada. "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."
The Des Moines plant has the capacity to produce 4,500 tires a day, according to the 2012 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue.