Bridgestone’s range of technologically advanced products and services has helped the company win national road safety charity TyreSafe’s Innovation & Use of Technology Award 2020. The new award represents further recognition of Bridgestone’s contribution to road safety by TyreSafe. The manufacturer collected the Tyre Manufacturer of the Year title in 2018, an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017 and an Innovation & Use of Technology trophy for its DriveGuard runflat technology, also in 2017.
Bridgestone has announced a new campaign that invites its partners to participate in building a stronger society. Called ‘A Layered Journey’, the campaign highlights the ways Bridgestone is incorporating sustainability in its value chain with a focus upon its commitment to sustainable procurement of natural rubber.
Bridgestone has launched its new Battlax Sport Touring T32 tyre. The tyre represents improved wet performance over the T31, containing Bridgestone’s Pulse Groove Pattern Technology. The T32 has a 13 per cent bigger contact patch than its predecessor, which supports handling improvements. The tyre has also reduced wet braking distance by seven per cent. Enhancing the tyre’s size line-up, Bridgestone is launching a version of the tyre dedicated to middleweight and heavy motorcycles. The Battlax Sport Touring T32GT increases wear life by 10 per cent over its predecessor. Bridgestone calls the T32 range a “new benchmark” for the touring segment. Nico Thuy, head of motorcycle at Bridgestone EMIA, adds: “We wanted to give riders more control and confidence in the wet and this tyre delivers exactly that.” The full sport touring line-up of sizes will be available on the market in early 2021.
Bridgestone’s Blizzak LM005 tyre has won the Auto Express Winter Tyre Test 2020 beating 205/55 R16 tyres from seven other manufacturers to the top of the table. Auto Express cited the tyre’s performance in the wet as a key factor. The tyre, which boasts an ‘A’ tyre label grade for wet grip across the full range, has secured Bridgestone’s first Auto Express test win and follows on from a series of improved results in recent times. However, there were strong performances from Hankook’s Winter i*cept RS2 (2nd) and Michelin’s Alpin 6 (3rd). At the same time, we have to note that Hankook Goodyear and Dunlop each won individual categories as well as Bridgestone, of course. Looking forward, Continental’s TS 870 has to be described as the one that got away because it’s market-beating performance couldn’t be counted owing to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the new tyre’s release for a year.
Bridgestone Corporation has been included in the STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index, a stock investment index focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The news, announced on 24 September, marks the second consecutive year that Bridgestone has been listed in the index.
Bridgestone Corporation will end kart tyre supply on 31 December 2022. According to the company, the decision to leave the largely bias construction kart tyre segment “reflects careful examination of the company’s portfolio and resources”. However, Bridgestone remains fully responsible for the supply of kart tyres until 31 December 2022, at which time outstanding supply contracts will end.
First Stop Tyre & Car Services has revealed its striking new rebrand at a flagship store in Birmingham. The Auto Workshop, headed up by father-and-son team Steve and Graham Todd, has become First Stop’s latest partner. Five new jobs have b
Bridgestone will be using GoCardless to facilitate the recurring payment function necessary for its Mobox tyre subscription service. Already available in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Mobox customers in the UK can pay via GoCardless for a “frictionless payment experience.” Furthermore, because of the end-to-end integration of the GoCardless API, Bridgestone will have access to real-time information on the status of mandates and payments – in turn, reducing costs and time spent on administration.
DriveRightData is partnering with Bridgestone, providing tyre identification and product matching capabilities data for the tyre manufacturer’s recently-launched Mobox monthly tyre and car maintenance subscription service. DriveRightData information supplied includes brand name, product name, description, tyre and tread images, tyre size, pressure, rim size, load and speed index, run-flat capability, EU required labelling information and barcodes.
The UK’s largest tyre retailer, Kwik Fit, is being prepared for a sale. The Japanese Itochu group, which owns the European Tyre Enterprises Ltd (ETEL) holding company that controls both Kwik Fit and its wholesale counterpart Stapleton’s Tyre Services, has appointed investment bankers Nomura to advise on strategic options for the company, according to Sky News, with insiders suggesting a sale is very likely.
The president of the Hauts-de-France region has labelled Bridgestone’s planned closure of its Béthune tyre manufacturing plant “brutal” and a “premeditated assassination.” For good measure, Xavier Bertrand added “we are dealing with cynics and liars” in his strongly-worded response to Bridgestone’s announcement. In a joint statement with the French government, Bertrand’s Hauts-de-France Region called on the Bridgestone group to “assume its responsibilities,” alleging that the company’s divestment from and allocation of low-margin tyres to the Béthune plant over the last decade has “automatically” led to its deficit in competitiveness.
Bridgestone has announced its plan to close its Bethune plant in France. The manufacturer said that the measure is being used to reduce production overcapacity and to improve cost efficiency. The proposal could impact 863 employees. Bridgestone added that it is “fully aware of the social consequences of this project and is committed to using all means at its disposal to define support plans for each employee.” The earliest the closure would take place is the second quarter of 2021. Bridgestone’s presence in France would continue through sales and retail operations, in which it employs about 3,500, the company said.