The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 belatedly begin this week, and as is well known, much will be different this time round. Worldwide partner Bridgestone Corporation has outlined the ways its contributions will help support safety and efficiency for athletes and operations.
Bridgestone’s tyre retail network First Stop and telematics provider Webfleet Solutions will jointly support the World’s Fastest Shed. First Stop is sponsoring Guinness World Record holder Kevin Nicks and his road-legal outbuilding. Webfleet Solutions has installed its Webfleet fleet management software on the unusual vehicle.
As mentioned on Tyrepress.com yesterday, the future of tyre making at the site of Bridgestone’s recently-closed Béthune in France has been secured by a deal signed this month between major European vehicle maintenance and mobility firm Mobivia and French retreading specialist Black Star. With support from Bridgestone, the partners are gearing up to retread car, SUV and light commercial vehicle tyres in Béthune – products that Bridgestone intends to sell through selected retail outlets.
Amidst widespread economic and political unrest in South Africa, local tyre manufacturers have experienced significant disruption and even looting. Specifically, the Dunlop South Africa (formally Sumitomo Rubber South Africa Pty Ltd – SRSA) Durban Westville warehouse was “invaded” by trespassers and looters resulting in the loss of 90 million rand (£4.533 million; 5.255 million euros; US$6.190 million) of tyre stock. Such is the scale of the problem, the local tyre industry has embarked on a “say no to looted goods” campaign.
Bridgestone is exclusive tyre supplier for the new Lamborghini Huracán STO and now offers two options. From launch the road-homologated super sports car has worn custom-developed Bridgestone Potenza Sport tyres in size 245/30 ZR20 at the front and 305/30 ZR20 on the rear axle. Those seeking “excellent dry grip for outstanding lap times and reliable cornering, braking and handling on and off the track” can now benefit from a second option, Bridgestone Potenza Race semi-slick tyres.
Major European vehicle maintenance and mobility firm Mobivia and French retreading specialist Black Star have signed an agreement covering the collection, sorting and retreading of passenger car tyres at the site of Bridgestone’s former Béthune plant in France. Bridgestone is lending its support to the project, which will commence in January and is expected to create nearly 200 jobs by 2025, thus providing employment for many former Bridgestone workers.
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 Corporation has taken a significant step towards powering its tyre manufacturing facilities in Japan with electricity from renewable sources. Third-party sourced electricity used within the Hikone, Tosu, Shimonoseki, and Kitakyushu plants now comes from hydro, geothermal, solar and wind energy.
Bridgestone-owned retailer ETB (Exhausts, Tyres and Batteries), has reported a 40 per cent reduction in accidents and is set for insurance savings of up to £30,000 following the introduction of the Webfleet fleet management platform. The Software-as-a-Service) SaaS system from Bridgestone-owned Webfleet Solutions, which has been integrated with forward and reverse Mantis Live cameras, has been rolled out across ETB’s 100-strong tyre delivery fleet, comprising both HGVs and vans.
In order to meet increasing local demand for high-tech and premium tyres and in response to national and regional market share gains, Bridgestone is investing in its manufacturing facility in Camaçari, Brazil. The more than R$700 million (£101.7 million) investment will go towards modernising the plant and increasing production capacity by more than 20 per cent. The project will begin by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Bridgestone Corporation is working to incorporate additional sustainability into its business model. Alongside plans to establish and build up a recycling business, retreading remains a key part of these efforts and features in the company’s plans to invest 700 billion yen (£4.6 billion) in strategic resources by 2023. To expand retreading activities, Bridgestone is looking at other segments besides commercial truck and OTR tyre retreading.
The mobox all-inclusive monthly tyre subscription service debuted in the UK in 2020, several years after Bridgestone first piloted the model in France. Bridgestone now intends to increase the global number of mobox subscription contracts twentyfold (compared to 2019) by 2023. While additional subscriptions in Europe will aid this expansion, the company will primarily achieve growth by rolling out the European mobox model in the USA and Japan.
Bridgestone Corporation has published its 2020-2021 Sustainability Report, a document it describes as “an important milestone” on its “ongoing journey to provide social and customer value as a sustainable solutions company.” The report outlines the steps Bridgestone has taken over the past year and contains detailed information about its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy, Sustainability Business Framework, Mid Term Business Plan (2021-2023), and CSR activities.
Hankook Tire describes its receipt of a General Motors Supplier of the Year award as an honour. The company is one of 122 suppliers around the world, including five tyre makers, acknowledged for exceptional performance in the 2020 calendar year.
First Stop has teamed up with a London-based firm of property developers to source and secure 20 prime retail development opportunities in a bid to attract new franchisees to its tyre and autocare network.