Bridgestone & Firestone Celebrate 20th Anniversary
More than 1,600 employees and family members joined Bridgestone Americas chairman and CEO Mark Emkes and state and local dignitaries in Akron, Ohio on July 29 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the alliance between The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company and Bridgestone Corporation, a pairing that transformed Bridgestone into the world’s largest tyre and rubber company.
“This celebration of ‘A Team For 20 Years’ is a chance to reflect on our accomplishments together and to set our sights on continuous improvement and growth for the future,” said Emkes. “We are one team with one goal: to continue to build on the success of the past 20 years through our two strong brands and our ongoing investment in technology that fosters a culture of innovation and quality. And we will continue the traditions established by our two founders — Shojiro Ishibashi and Harvey Firestone — to give back to the communities we call home. When it comes to the alliance of the Bridgestone and Firestone brands, the best is yet to come.”
Bridgestone Americas traces its roots to the establishment of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in August 1900. It was then that Harvey S. Firestone started tyre production with 12 employees in Akron. On the other side of the globe in 1931, Shojiro Ishibashi created Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd. (later renamed Bridgestone Corporation). He fashioned the company name by reversing the English translation of his own: “Ishibashi,” which literally means “stone bridge” in Japanese.
Bridgestone Corporation purchased Firestone in 1988 for US$2.6 billion, transforming the companies’ combined operations into the world’s largest tyre and rubber company and allowing the makers of the Bridgestone and Firestone brand tyres to combine their best research and technology resources to become a global leader in quality, customer service and technical innovation. The operations in the Americas were later renamed Bridgestone Americas and became the largest subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation.
“The Bridgestone brand is a dynamic, sophisticated and innovative premium brand for drivers who want to get the most out of their cars,” Emkes continued. “Firestone is a brand built on a century of proven quality and value with a tradition of innovation. We will continue to go to market with these two powerful brands and to build on the strength of each.”
“We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for our teammates,” added Emkes. “They’re the life-blood of our company and the primary reason for our success. I want to thank each and every one of our teammates and their families for 20 extraordinary years of hard work and innovation.”