New Bridgestone Brazil president to oversee growth projects
Fabio Fossen has been appointed president of Bridgestone Brazil, succeeding Ariel Depascuali, who is retiring after more than 15 years with the company. Fossen comes to Bridgestone from Coca Cola Femsa, and his main role will be to lead Bridgestone’s expansion and modernisation in Brazil.
Bridgestone says the transition to a new president in its Brazilian operation was a highly planned process that began with Depascuali’s decision to retire, which was communicated internally in early 2014. Depascuali had been in charge of Bridgestone’s Brazilian subsidiary since 2010, and was previously president of the company’s Argentine and Mexican operations.
Commenting on his appointment, Fossen said: “We have an excellent team and our focus will be on stronger and closer relationship with our distribution channels and our customers.”
One of Bridgestone’s strategies for increasing its presence in the Brazilian market is to strengthen and expand its product sales channels. The company has more than 590 exclusive retail points of sale, five company-owned CarClub Firestone retail outlets, and three large distribution centres that supply multi-brand retailers.
Furthermore, to meet growing demand Bridgestone Brazil is currently undergoing a major expansion and modernisation programme that aims to increase both capacity and product quality. The company is investing US$120 million between 2014 and 2016 to modernise tyre production at its Santo André plants and Camaçari facilities.
In Santo André, Bridgestone is investing to modernise its production of 13 and 14-inch tyres in order to meet market expectations in a segment fiercely contested by both local and imported products. In addition, investments are being made to double the plant’s production capacity for Firestone brand agricultural radials.
Investments at the Camaçari facility will see production capacity for ultra-high performance tyres grow by approximately 25 per cent. Work on this project is expected to be complete by May 2015, and more than 100 direct jobs will be created by this expansion.
“We invest in the growth of the Brazilian market and we are investing in important segments,” said Fabio Fossen.