The Lawton Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Plant broke ground on the plant’s 16th equipment modernization project since the plant was built in 1979.
The new project, the addition of an advanced mixer, will be built on the west side of the plant. Construction is expected to start this month and be completed early next year.
The project will allow the Lawton Goodyear plant to improve its mixing capacity and to meet increasingly stringent performance requirements for emerging technologies like electric and autonomous vehicles, said Lester Brooks, manufacturing director of the local plant.
“This investment represents a continuing step in Lawton’s multi-year master plan,” Brooks said.
Brooks noted that since the opening of the plant, more than $1 billion has been invested and the plant has more than doubled in size. During that time, the plant has manufacturing more than 700 million tires.
“The local and state support we’ve received has been tremendous throughout our plant’s history, and we know that our success would not have been possible without it,” Brooks said.
Also on hand for the groundbreaking was Scott Mueller, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce, who received a tour of the plant before the groundbreaking ceremony.
Mueller said what stood out to him was the amount of reinvestment in the plant.
“We have to continually invest and continually train people,” Mueller said. He said as Secretary of Commerce that he gets to see some “pretty neat things” across the state and to see companies like Goodyear invest in the community is exciting.