Bridgestone holds grand opening for tech center

April 11, 2012

Bridgestone Americas Inc. (BSAM) held a grand opening ceremony today for its state-of-the-art Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. The $100 million facility houses 450 employees who develop tire technologies.

“This has been a center of innovation for more than a century. We’ve helped put the world on wheels. Literally, millions of miles have been driven on Bridgestone and Firestone tires designed right here in Akron,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and president, BSAM. “But while we are proud of our past and the history and heritage of our great company, today is about looking to the future - to writing the next chapter in the story of our organization. And it all starts right here at this new technical center.”

The new center has been built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold specifications, which means it was designed and constructed to have the highest performance in human and environmental health. A variety of products from BSAM’s building products division – Firestone Building Products – were used in helping the facility meet these rigid requirements.

Harvey S. Firestone founded The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron in 1900 and completed the company’s headquarters and technical center on Firestone Parkway in 1911.

Bridgestone Corp. purchased the company in 1988, transforming the companies’ combined operations into the world’s largest tire and rubber company, and making Akron one of only three technical centers for the company worldwide (the two other technical centers are in Tokyo, Japan, and Rome, Italy).

In 2010, the company announced it would be building a new home for the Americas Technical Center in Akron.