Volkswagen has called the launch of its ID.3 electric car the most significant since the Golf. But the launch is also a milestone for one of its tyre partners. Following the news that Bridgestone would supply its Enliten-enhanced Turanza Eco tyres to the ID.3, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer has outlined the benefits of its low rolling resistance, reduced materials technology, available on the road for the first time on the ID.3. Bridgestone says Enliten Technology “sets a new lowered standard in material use and rolling resistance to deliver significant environmental benefits,” making it ideally suited to a car launch characterised as a milestone in sustainability.
Tyrepress has published its 2020 ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers. Our ranking lists the top 20 tyre makers ordered by turnover from tyres in the previous calendar year. For example, Continental turned over nearly 45 billion euros in 2019, but 26.4 per cent of this was from its tyre divisions, making it the fourth largest tyre manufacturer in the world with 11.7 billion euros. The ranking presents a baseline for discussing the relative positions of the largest global players in tyre production. In 2019, we noted that Bridgestone had opened up a gap at the top of our ranking, around 2.65 billion euros ahead of second-placed Michelin in tyre turnover. This year, the French giant has reduced this gap to just over half a billion euros, reflecting its most recent acquisitions.
In addition to being the strongest brand globally, according to Brand Finance, Michelin has been named the world’s most valuable tyre brand for the third year in a row. However, the gap between first position and second-placed Bridgestone narrowed, meaning the Japanese tyre manufacturer is well-placed to regain pole.
On 29 June Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) announced that it won a long-running trademark and trade dress infringement lawsuit against Brazilian retread company New Tyre Remoldadora De Pneus (New Tyre), in the São Paulo Court of Appeals.
Bridgestone is providing supported training courses aimed at getting commercial customers back on their feet following lockdown. During the third quarter, the company’s comprehensive range of accreditations – which helped secure three National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) staff training awards in the past five years – are to be offered at heavily subsidised rates to dealers for the first time. By providing the wide range of qualifications, Bridgestone hopes to re-engage with – and empower – technicians and ensure its network of commercial partners provide a premium service when answering fleet calls.
Dutchman Edwin van der Stad has been appointed as vice president OE Europe at Nexen Tire. Van der Stad brings 30 years of experience and premium level OE management with him to the Korean tyre manufacturer. Prior to joining Nexen, van der Stad spent many years with Bridgestone. Van der Stad’s new role took effect in March.
Bridgestone has collaborated with Microsoft in the development of a new monitoring system for the real-time detection of tyre damage. The UK’s Department for Transport 2018 statistics show tyre issues contribute to 30 per cent of all car accidents caused by technical failure. Bridgestone says its Tyre Damage Monitoring System is the “final piece in tracking tyre issues.” The system offers similar applications to recent market solutions that process live data using algorithms to predict the effects of tyre damage and notify drivers, fleet operators and service providers. What separates it from existing systems is that no additional hardware need be installed, the manufacturer adds.
Bridgestone has bought iTrack, which provides tyre management solutions for the off-the-road (OTR) market, from UK-based Transense Technologies Plc. All employees of the iTrack Solutions business will join Bridgestone as part of the acquisition. No financial details have been released.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has appointed ex-Brisa and Bridgestone executive Hakan Bayman as president of Goodyear’s consumer tyre business in Europe, effective 1 July 2020. Bayman will be based in Brussels and report directly to Chris Delaney, president Goodyear EMEA.
Bridgestone has launched its first-ever all-season tyre for the light truck segment. The Duravis All Season has a robust and durable construction, for longevity and reduced downtime periods. It also has A-grade wet grip on the EU tyre label, alongside Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) and Mud and Snow (M+S) certification. Bridgestone says the tyre targets both small and large fleets looking to maximise business efficiency on the same tyres year-round.
Bridgestone Corporation has been selected for inclusion in the Euronext Vigeo World 120 index, a leading stock investment index focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, for the second consecutive year.
One of Bridgestone’s largest European Bandag franchisees, Top Treads, stayed open during the current pandemic in order “to support our customers, changing working practices” while also “implementing social distancing”, according to Top Treads’ owner and managing director Steve Evans. Moving forward, the firm’s faith in its sustainable retread products is beginning to reap dividends in the demanding commercial tyre market.
While much of the tyre industry has helped keep Britain rolling during the coronavirus lockdown, commercial vehicle technicians have played a particularly key role since they have serviced the fleets that have kept the blue lights flashing, the food deliveries moving and much more. In order to gain an inside perspective, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Bridgestone North Region Commercial Business Unit Director Greg Ward who, prior to his promotion into this role in October 2019, served as the company’s commercial sales director, UK and Ireland, for 17 years.