First Stop Dealers Treated to VIP Tour
Staff from three First Stop dealerships have been treated to a VIP tour of one of Bridgestone’s major tyre manufacturing plants in France as part of a campaign to further increase knowledge within the network.
Representatives from Airway Tyres in Colchester, and the Lodge Tyres depots in both Walsall and Talke, near Stoke, were given a guided tour of the factory in Béthune, northern France. They received an in-depth insight into the whole tyre manufacturing process, from the combination of natural and synthetic rubber all the way through to the detailed and thorough quality control of the final product.
Doug Wyatt, manager of Airway Tyres, said: “It was fascinating to see just how much technology goes into each tyre,” he said. “We were expecting the tyres to arrive at the factory in a semi-completed state, but as we saw, all the components are put in on-site. It was amazing how everything came together to create the final product.
“Seeing the whole process certainly opened our eyes to how complicated the process of manufacturing tyres is. It was a very useful exercise for us as now we have a greater understanding of the whole process and can pass on this new knowledge to our customers. For example, now when we are asked about the difference between a budget and a premium tyre, we can reply with greater confidence, having witnessed the different technologies that go into the tyres,” added Doug.
The dealers were accompanied on the trip by First Stop business development manager Chris Hawkins and area sales manager Sally Whittall.
“Bridgestone has several technologically-advanced factories across Europe, which we are justly proud of,” said Hawkins. “Through educational trips like this, and our numerous training courses, we are demonstrating our commitment to improving UK tyre fitters’ knowledge levels. Even highly skilled, experienced fitters can benefit from seeing the detailed and thorough process of manufacturing tyres, and we’re glad the guys on this trip found it useful.”