As Michelin looks to strengthen its portfolio around and beyond tires, Bridgestone is working on narrowing its focus just a bit.
Since 2019, the percentage of Bridgestone’s corporate sales attributed to tires is estimated to have grown. In 2019, it was estimated that 75 percent of sales was from the company’s tire business. And while that estimate dropped by just one point in 2020, it grew to 80 percent in 2021 and then 85 percent in 2022—during which Bridgestone reported sales of $26.6 billion.
The Tokyo-based tire maker made at least 16 significant moves in 2021, setting the stage for a big year in 2022.
That same year—2022—Bridgestone made some major announcements and completed some moves. And all of them are aimed at a single vision: bringing more tires to the market, and do so more sustainably. Including in North America.
Perhaps the most prominent example of Bridgestone North America Inc.’s efforts is the $550 million investment in its Warren County, Tenn., truck/bus tire facility. The company this month broke ground on the project, which is expected to be substantially completed by 2026. The funding not only will increase output, it will help ensure that the products coming out of the plant are more sustainable and new mobility-ready.
Bridgestone last year opened its new $21 million, 80,000-sq.-ft. race tire manufacturing plant in Akron, expanding capabilities and ensuring efficient operations.
And when it comes to sustainability, retreading is key for the tire maker. So Bridgestone is focusing capital expenditures on growing its expertise in this area, particularly at its tread rubber facility in Abilene, Texas. The tire maker broke ground on a $60 million expansion there in May.
Bridgestone’s also investing in sustainable materials, including guayule. Last year, the company said it would put another $42 million into growing its