OH: Bridgestone to Build State-of-the-Art Racing Tire Factory in Akron
10 Jun, 2019
Bridgestone Americas Inc. will build a state-of-the-art facility in Akron to produce Firestone-brand racing tires. The plant will be built across the street from the company's Bridgestone Americas Technical Center. The company currently produces its race-tire lines at its Bridgestone Advanced Technology Workshop. Bridgestone leases that space, at the former Firestone Tire and Co. headquarters, from the city of Akron.
Bridgestone is the sole tire supplier to the NTT IndyCar Series, and the plant's sole output will be for the series. The company on Wednesday also announced an extension through 2025 for the Firestone brand to serve the open-wheel race series, which includes the Indianapolis 500.
Plans for the new factory, called the Bridgestone Advanced Tire Production Center (ATPC), will include new construction and the renovation of an existing structure, a press release said. Construction for the ATPC is expected to start in summer and early plans call for it to produce its first Firestone Firehawk race tires for testing in the IndyCar Series by the end of 2020, a spokeswoman said. An exact completion date for the facility should be released in summer, the company said.
The approximately 50 workers at the current facility will make the move to the new site, which will produce more than 60 race-tire specifications, the company said. Officials added it will take about four years to completely shift production over to the new facility.
"The Akron community and race-tire development have each played significant roles in our company's past, and they will continue to drive innovation for us in the future," said Nizar Trigui, Bridgestone Americas' chief technology officer, in a statement. "We are proud to ensure that Firestone race tires will be built in Akron for many years to come, soon in a new facility that will be as cutting-edge as the tires it produces."
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