Bridgestone is enhancing its tyre development capabilities in the USA with an expansion to its Americas Technology Center campus in Akron, Ohio. The project includes the construction of a new vehicle dynamics test track that will facilitate the development of future tyre technologies by allowing team members to drive prototypes first-hand and thus quickly ascertain which further enhancements are necessary. The track will also supplement tyre testing operations currently performed at Bridgestone’s Proving Grounds in Texas, Ohio, Mexico, and South America.
Bridgestone Americas has made a ten per cent minority investment in Wrench, a US-based mobile vehicle services and technology company. According to Bridgestone, the new partnership will accelerate both companies’ ability to meet the needs of car owners with best-in-class technology in the rapidly growing mobile vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance market.
Kal Tire and Bridgestone Canada have reached an agreement for Kal Tire to purchase 15 full-service GCR Tires & Service (GCR) outlets, two retreading plants and one off-the-road tyre repair shop from Bridgestone. The purchase of these locations will enable Kal Tire to serve more consumer, commercial and mining customers in the Canadian markets where it currently operates, as well as expand its footprint to include locations in eastern Canada.
Tests of self-driving trucks on public roads have been taking place in the USA for several years now, and Bridgestone Americas is partnering in a number of projects. Following on from its investments in Kodiak Robotics and Azuga, the company has announced a partnership with Swedish electric and autonomous freight mobility solutions company Einride. Bridgestone says this partnership aims to co-create “innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for electrified and autonomous Class 8 vehicles.”
Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) has reached an agreement with tech-focused private equity firm Sumeru Equity Partners, connected vehicle specialist Danlaw and other shareholders to purchase Azuga Holdings, Inc. (Azuga) and the Azuga fleet management platform for US$391 million. Bridgestone says the acquisition will accelerate its efforts to develop and deploy sustainable mobility solutions as a “central pillar of the company’s advanced mobility strategy.”
Sara Correa is the newly-appointed chief marketing officer at Bridgestone Americas. She will begin in this role on 26 July, succeeding Philip Dobbs, who recently announced he will retire from Bridgestone in October after a brief transition period.
Bridgestone Americas has made a minority investment in Kodiak Robotics, a leading self-driving trucking company in the USA. Nizar Trigui, Bridgestone Americas’ chief technology officer and group president of its Solutions Businesses, also joins the Kodiak Robotics Board of Directors.
As of 1 July 2021, Paolo Ferrari will become Bridgestone Corporation’s Global Chief Business Solutions Officer. At the same time, he officially relinquishes the position of Chief Operating Officer within Bridgestone Americas, Inc., the company’s US-based subsidiary. Bridgestone Corporation recently announced that Scott Damon would take over the latter role on 1 June.
Bridgestone Corporation reports that its North and Latin American subsidiary is expanding several key leadership positions in order to strengthen its core tyre business and to accelerate the execution of its sustainable mobility solutions strategy. The changes will take effect 1 June.
Bridgestone Corporation reports that its Bridgestone Americas, Inc. subsidiary has completed the sale of Firestone Building Products to Holcim Participations (US) Inc, a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim Ltd. (LafargeHolcim). According to the Japanese company, the US$3.4 billion transaction will “advance Bridgestone’s efforts to deliver value to customers and society as a global leader providing tyres and advanced mobility solutions.”
Bridgestone Americas is providing a one-time, US$100 payment to all of its more than 33,000 employees in the USA who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The company is also exploring options to deploy a comparable programme to employees in Canada and Latin America as the vaccine becomes more widely available. Bridgestone is among the first major employers in its industry to initiate a financial payment to employees who decide to be vaccinated.
Bridgestone Americas has executed a US$1.1 billion sustainability-linked credit facility in partnership with Sumitomo Mitsubishi Banking Corporation (SMBC). Under this credit facility, the costs that Bridgestone incurs in relation to its borrowings will decline or rise in line with independent appraisals of its sustainability.
Marko Ibrahim is the new president of Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO), the Bridgestone Americas subsidiary responsible for operating a network of more than 2,200 tyre and vehicle service centres across the United States of America. He succeeds Joe Venezia, who led the organisation since 2017 and has stepped down to pursue a leadership role outside of Bridgestone.
With a new warehouse in Ancaster, Ontario, Bridgestone anticipates serving tyre dealers and customers in Canada with greater agility. The CA$65 million (£37.7 million) facility can hold up to 570,000 tyres and enables Bridgestone Canada to reduce transportation costs and shorten time-to-market for products in the country’s eastern region.
The world’s largest cement maker, LafargeHolcim, has confirmed that it will buy Firestone Building Products from Bridgestone Americas in a US$3.4 billion deal. The sale is designed to enable Bridgestone to “strengthen investments in company’s tyre business and fast-growing mobility solutions business”, according to an official statement.