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Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Announces Three-Year Investment Plan For Agricultural Tire Unit

DES MOINES, Iowa (March 27, 2010) — Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) today announced plans to further extend manufacturing capacity at its primary agricultural tire facility in Des Moines, Iowa. The investment initiative began in 2009, and when complete will total approximately $77 million over the course of three years.

Investments at the facility will be made in the core manufacturing areas of tire building, curing and necessary support equipment, and will allow the company to meet the farm equipment industry’s growing demand for high capacity radial farm tires both in North America and globally.

The farming industry continues to move towards larger and more efficient farm equipment, but at the same time producers want to minimize ground compaction. To meet these needs, over the past 15 years the farm equipment industry has moved towards larger and wider radial tires that provide better traction and an increased tire footprint.

Since Harvey Firestone introduced the first pneumatic tire specifically for agricultural use in 1932, Firestone brand farm tires have maintained a leadership position in the agricultural tire industry.

“This investment will allow Firestone to maintain our market position, continue to develop advanced solutions and supply improved tire technology to the agricultural industry,” said Ken Allen, President, Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division, BATO.

An example of Firestone’s latest agricultural tire innovation is AD2TM technology. Compared to a standard tire of the same size, Firestone agricultural tires with AD2 technology provide a larger footprint, improve traction and reduce compaction. AD2 technology allows producers to work more efficiently while at the same time improving yields.

“As farm equipment applications become more specialized, such as the self propelled sprayer market, we will be in a position to provide tires that meet the unique demands of these applications,” added Allen.

The Des Moines facility employees 1,400 people, and has been an integral part of the Des Moines community and Central Iowa since the mid-1940s. In addition to manufacturing agricultural tires, this facility also produces tires for the forestry and construction equipment markets. To find out more about Firestone agricultural tires with AD2 technology, visit your local Certified Firestone Farm Tire Dealer or go to www.firestoneag.com.

About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (Bridgestone Americas) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the Bridgestone Americas business unit are the company's Latin American tire operations; the U.S. and Canadian consumer and commercial tire businesses; and Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, which operates the largest network of company-owned automotive service providers in the world. Bridgestone Americas develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The commercial tire division is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying tires to passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and retread markets.

About Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:

Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division (BAAG), Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, is the industry leader in the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of market-leading Firestone agricultural tires. BAAG’s Des Moines, Iowa, facility is located in the heart of America’s farm belt and supplies approximately half of the agricultural tires consumed by North American original equipment manufacturers as well as being the leading agricultural tire supplier in the North American replacement market. Firestone agricultural tires can be found on farm tractors, planting and harvesting equipment and other farm implements in North America and around the world. In addition BAAG markets and sells forestry and construction tires. BAAG also operates a testing facility, located in Columbiana, Ohio, which is the only facility in the world solely dedicated to the development and testing of agricultural tires.

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