The promise is of not only a better-performing synthetic rubber, but also a sustainable one. Bridgestone Corporation has announced its successful creation of a new synthetic isoprene rubber (IR), something it achieved through precise molecular structure control utilising a new polymerisation catalyst. The company believes the new IR can deliver durability and fuel-efficiency performance surpassing that of natural rubber, and as it can be created using isoprene derived from renewable biomass, it offers the potential to be a sustainable material. Bridgestone aims to achieve the practical application of IR during the 2020s.
Bridgestone has extended its support of golf with its new Bridgestone Chase your Dream Trophy. Played for the first time in 2017 and open to members of England Golf’s 1,900 affiliated clubs, the new event will run annually with separate men’s and women’s competitions to discover the country’s top handicap golfers of the year. Club golfers will get the chance to win a place in a European Tour Pro-Am. The trophy is presented by the tyre manufacturer in partnership with England Golf.
Bridgestone Europe has announced an average price increase of 8 per cent in its car, van, SUV and motorcycle ranges. This will affect all of Bridgestone’s brands and will come into effect on 1 April, 2017 for summer tyres and 1 May, 2017 for winter tyres.
Bridgestone has become the first tyre manufacturer to offer the Society of Operations Engineers’ (SOE) Commercial Tyre Technician Licence to employees of fleets across the UK. The company said the licence would raise standards and improve uniformity in the commercial tyre industry. Attaining the licence requires the completion of three practical assessments and an online test. It aims to regulate the industry and provide best practice with an approved standard that everyone can aspire to achieve. The licence is currently being rolled out, and Bridgestone UK development trainers Phil Thirsk and Paul Turner passed rigorous tests in October to become qualified assessors.
Since its debut in 2014, the Bridgestone range of agricultural tyres has included fitments for high horsepower tractors. Now, with the introduction of the VT-Combine, the company has extended the line-up to cover combine harvesters. Designed specifically for Cyclic Field Operations (CFO) and featuring Improved Flexion (IF) technology, the VT-Combine offers 20 per cent more load compared with standard tyres (as set out by ETRTO standards). The tyre also allows a maximum speed during CFO of 15km/h, as opposed to the 10km/h maximum with conventional tyres.
Bridgestone Corporation intends to acquire up to 50 million of its shares, or 6.4 per cent of its outstanding treasury stock. In a statement, the company said it would spend up to 150 billion yen (£1.1 billion) in the buyback, which will take place between 20 February and 22 December 2017. The acquired shares, along with a further 20 million shares, will be cancelled, effective 19 January 2018.
The Examation tyre assembly system is said to have resulted in a “landslide victory” for Bridgestone at the 2017 TTX Awards. The company was named Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year award at a ceremony in Hannover, Germany this week.
Bridgestone Corporation reports it has been identified as a global leader thanks to its actions and strategies to manage carbon and climate change across its supply chain. The company has been given a position on the supplier engagement leader board set up by UK-based international non-governmental organisation CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). It has also received an ‘A’ in CDP’s Supplier Engagement Rating.
Universal Tyre & Autocentres Ltd is the first commercial tyre service provider to go ‘live’ with the e-jobsheet link into Bridgestone Europe’s Siebel system directly from CAM’s UniSerV platform. According to CAM, the integration will deliver greater shared accuracy between the parties as well as improve the speed and visibility of job processing, further enabling the NTDA ‘Fastfit of the Year’ award winner to excel in the commercial fleet space.
Bridgestone Corporation reports it is supplying its Racing Battlax tyres to two teams participating in the current FIM Endurance World Championship season. Both the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team and the F.C.C. TSR Honda team will race on the Bridgestone tyres for the next round of the FIM EWC, the 24 Heures Moto at Le Mans on 15 April 2017.
The position of director for the passenger car tyre division within Bridgestone Europe’s Central Region (CER) left vacant by the departure of Peter Gulows in the middle of last year has now been filled. Torsten Claßen began in this role on 1 February and has taken on responsibility for all sales and marketing activities in Germany and Austria, and for the entire business in Switzerland. He reports to Andreas Niegsch, managing director Bridgestone CER.
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations intends to raise prices for car, light truck, truck/bus, OTR and agricultural tyres, as well as retread products and tubes. The new pricing for North America will take effect 1 January and will see products become up to eight per cent more expensive.
Japanese swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Kosuke Hagino has become a ‘Bridgestone Athlete Ambassador’ for a period of five years. The company states that it is “excited to partner with Hagino to share his journey and support him in the continued pursuit of his goals,” and expresses its hope that the swimmer “will successfully embody our corporate values.”