Bridgestone Aiming for 40% of Oman PCR Market
While visiting Oman for the launch of Bridgestone’s Adrenalin Potenza RE001 tyre, the company’s general manager for the Gulf, East Africa and Nigeria, Takahiro Mitsui, spoke about the company’s activities and ambitions for the region, and the measures being taken to ensure global supply keeps pace with demand.
According to Mitsui, Bridgestone holds 30 per cent of Oman’s passenger car tyre aftermarket. This high percentage, he believes, is in part the result of the predominance of Japanese cars sold on this market, most of which arrive fitted with Bridgestone as OE. The activities of Bridgestone’s regional distributor, Towell Auto Centre, is another key factor, said Mitsui. From a solitary outlet in 2001 the distributor has expanded to 16 outlets by 2007. However the general manager believes that, should a sufficient supply of tyres become available, Bridgestone could feasibly hold 40 per cent of this market segment. Across all market segments, Bridgestone currently holds 35 per cent of the market.
Supply has been a problem, Mitsui admits, and not just in Oman. Massive increases in demand from particular markets, such as China and Russia, has led to Bridgestone’s production capacity lagging behind global demand. Oman is only one of a number of markets where distributors face supply shortages. To rectify this situation, production capacity is being expanded in a number of locations; facilities in Mexico, Poland and Hungary will enter operation in 2008, and will the company’s new giant OTR tyre plant in Japan.
In terms of new tyres, Bridgestone is planning to release several new products especially customised for the region’s harsh weather conditions. The latest new release, the Adrenalin Potenza RE001 is the street version of the high speed Potenza.