Bridgestone Bandag, a long-standing manufacturer in the Abilene community, broke ground on the expansion of its retread tire plant, marking a $60 million capital investment into Abilene. This project will add 50,000 square feet to their existing 200,000 square-foot facility in Abilene, Texas.
“Our existing businesses remain the backbone of our community, and we are honored to partner with Bridgestone Bandag, which has continued to invest in Abilene for over 50 years,” said Misty Mayo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DCOA. “Bridgestone Bandag’s expansion project is representative of the type of work the DCOA prioritizes – building long-term partnerships with local existing companies.”
Bridgestone Bandag’s expansion project is expected to retain 179 full-time employees and create an additional 25 full-time positions for Abilene. Over the next 10 years, the $60 million project is estimated to add over $21 million in taxes for the City of Abilene, Taylor County, and Abilene Independent School District.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community and citizens. We are proud to have Bridgestone Bandag continue to grow and invest in the City of Abilene,” said Abilene Mayor Weldon Hurt.
Over the next 10 years, the total estimated indirect and direct impact of the retention and expansion of the company is $1.81 billion.
“Bridgestone Bandag is a well-established and respected company in our community. This expansion project brings immense value to our community because Bridgestone Bandag has chosen to stay, grow, and prosper here in Abilene, Texas,” said Sam Vinson, DCOA Board Chair.
As a leading manufacturer of tire retread, the expansion project will focus on the development of an automated operation for rubber mixing and production.
“Today is a significant day for all of us at the Abilene Bandag plant and across Bridgestone Americas, as we break ground on this important expansion that will allow us to grow our production capabilities to meet the needs of our customers,” said Billy Fralick, Plant Manager, Abilene Plant. “We’d like to thank the Abilene community for its support over the last 52 years. We’re excited to begin this next chapter in our plant’s history.”
The Abilene plant expansion supports Bridgestone’s E8 Commitment that consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) to realize a sustainable society.
“Today we celebrate the growth and commitment of this plant and this community, with new investment and a physical expansion driven by growing demand for our products and, just as fundamentally, by this team’s commitment to delivering innovation and superior quality for our customers here and around the world,” said Chris Daniel, Executive Director, Bandag Manufacturing, Bridgestone Americas. “Our company and our Abilene team have a vital role to play in the transformation of mobility brought forth by a desire of building greener retreads, while helping maximize fuel efficiency for fleets.”
The project taps into Abilene’s skilled labor force in the manufacturing industry. With four universities, a technical college, community college, and state-of-the-art training facilities for high school and college students, the community boasts the necessary education to support future needs. In addition to powerful professionals, the community has robust infrastructure and a strategic location in the south-central United States that secures Abilene as the premier location for manufacturing.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Bridgestone Americas, Inc. is the U.S.-based subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, a global leader in tires and rubber, building on its expertise to provide solutions for safe and sustainable mobility. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Bridgestone Americas employs more than 50,000 people across its worldwide operations. Bridgestone offers a diverse product portfolio of premium tires and advanced solutions backed by innovative technologies, improving the way people around the world move, live, work and play.
Bandag is an industry leading supplier of retread tires for fleets. Retread tires not only provide fleets an economic benefit, but also are an environmentally responsible way to extend the life of tires in any fleet. Since 1957, Bandag has been responsible for keeping approximately 300 million tires out of the waste system, which helps reduce material emissions, water and energy use associated with the production of a new tire. The Bandag retreading process has also saved four billion gallons of oil since it began 50 years ago.
About the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA)
The DCOA is the economic development driver of Abilene with the goal to build the future Abilene by attracting and sustaining industries that support job creation, foster strong business, and ensure a prosperous community. The DCOA is focused on the future success of the community and leverages the DevelopAbilene partnership to market Abilene as the premier location for business expansion. Learn more about the DCOA and DevelopAbilene at: www.developabilene.com.
Abilene, Texas is located in Taylor County, Texas. Directly on I-20 just a two and half hours from the Dallas/Fort Worth metro, Abilene is strategically located in the south-central United States. The city has a population of 126,518 people, and has a labor shed of over 140,000.