Bridgestone Starts Producing Its Own Rubber in the U.S.

The Bridgestone factory with the guayule plants in the foreground Courtesy Bridgestone Corporation

Nearly all the world’s natural rubber comes from Hevea brasiliensis, immortalized by Cole Porter as the rubber tree plant. Relying on one plant for this critical raw material makes many companies nervous—especially tire companies, which account for nearly 60 percent of global natural rubber consumption. That’s why Bridgestone, along with other tire makers, are increasingly interested in the potential of a perennial shrub native to southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico called guayule.

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