Bridgestone Acquires Asian Retail Outlets
Bridgestone’s retail network in Asia has been boosted through the acquisition of operations in Thailand and Malaysia. Bridgestone Holdings (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (BSHT), a joint capital investment between Thai Bridgestone and a local partner, acquired Shell Autoserv (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (SAT) from the Shell Group on February 4. SAT owns 64 “Shell Autoserv” stores in the capital city Bangkok and in other locations throughout the country, an independent network providing car maintenance service including tyre and lubricant sales. In addition to the Thai transaction, Bridgestone also announced an agreement between Bridgestone Tyre Sales (Malaysia) SDN.BHD. (BSTM) and Shell Group for the BTSM acquisition of eight “Shell Autoserv” car maintenance stores in Malaysia.
Despite the change of owners, business will continue as usual at the outlets, and BSHT and BSTM have secured an agreement with Shell to continue to supply and sell Shell lubricants. The new stores join Bridgestone’s existing retail network of 178 stores in Thailand and 201 stores in Malaysia, consisting of both company-owned stores and franchise shops. This acquisition is one of a number of measures in line with the company’s channel strategy, reports Bridgestone. The addition of the 72 stores will further strengthen the Bridgestone Group’s retail presence and enhance its ability to respond to continuing growth in tyre demand in Thailand and Malaysia.
Since October, 2006, the Bridgestone Group has operated under an SBU structure in order to realise an optimal group/global management structure that can swiftly identify and respond to market and customer needs worldwide. In Asia, in addition to the growth of its retail network, the Bridgestone Group has also announced increases in production capacity as well as enhanced production efficiency at plants in Thailand, India and Indonesia.