Peter Gibbons is stepping down as chief executive officer of TireHub, the US-based tyre distributor jointly founded by Bridgestone Americas and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Ted Becker, TireHub’s vice-president of sales and marketing, will become interim chief executive officer once Gibbons leaves the company in mid-November to pursue a new career opportunity.
Bridgestone has introduced a new motocross tyre. The manufacturer says it developed and engineered the Bridgestone Battlecross X31 using its latest technologies, which has resulted in a tyre that “increases speed and provides riders with amazing traction and grip performance, as well as increased stability and working range.”
Bridgestone Corporation has applied to have its shares delisted from the Nagoya Stock Exchange. Explaining the rationale behind this move, the company notes that it is currently listed on three stock exchanges in Japan – Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka. In order to reduce the management costs and streamline management operations related to duplicate listings, it has decided to delist from the Nagoya Stock Exchange.
The two Tyre Industry Awards presented to Bridgestone during the National Tyre Distributors Association’s 7 October ceremony represent a “huge coup” for the company according to Andrea Manenti, North Europe region vice president. The manufacturer said the awards were the result of its recently launched “best-in-class new products” and its “commitment to a sustainable future and staff training.” Bridgestone was presented with the Staff Training & Development accolade and the headline Tyre Manufacturer of the Year award – the fourth time they have triumphed in the category since 2015 – at a packed International Convention Centre in Birmingham.
Bridgestone has launched a new motorcycle tyre for the growth adventure biking segment. The Bridgestone Battlax Adventure Trail AT41 combines rugged, off-road features with a touring compound to provide traction, grip and braking in all weather conditions. It will be available from February 2022 in nine sizes.
The National Tyre Distributors Association has presented a bumper crop of awards during its 92nd Annual Dinner in Birmingham. In the headline awards, Merityre was made the Overall Tyre Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Pirelli Tyres, Bridgestone took first place in Tyre Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by The Commercial Vehicle Show, while Stapleton’s Tyre Services became 2021’s Tyre Wholesaler of the Year, sponsored by Compilator / Team Systems. Tyrepress reported the announcement of the award winners, in addition to the day’s Tyre Industry Conference, live via Twitter.
Bridgestone Corporation is currently restructuring its non-tyre Diversified Products business and has announced its intention to close a factory in Japan as part of consolidation efforts related to production of automotive seat pads. It will close the Bridgestone Chemitech plant in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture in the fourth quarter of 2023 and consolidate operations within the three remaining facilities dedicated to automotive seat pad production – Bridgestone Chemitech’s Nabari and Hofu sites as well as Bridgestone Diversified Chemical Products’ Tosu plant.
Ferrari has chosen a custom version of Bridgestone’s new Potenza Sport ultra-high performance tyre for its new GT car. The tyre manufacturer collaborated with the supercar brand to produce bespoke rubber for the 620bhp, rear-wheel drive Ferrari Roma. The tyre is produced in the Bridgestone’s specialist Rome EMIA Technology and Innovation Centre, boasting the tyre-maker’s latest technologies, and is the result of close development work to fine-tune the all-round performance of the newly-launched Bridgestone tyre. It is supplied to the Ferrari Roma in 245/35ZR20 91Y and 285/35ZR20 (100Y) front and rear sizes.
Bridgestone has announced that it has developed an integrated TPMS system for its Webfleet predictive tyre maintenance and fleet management system. Designed for heavy commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, Webfleet TPMS “utilises sensors that continuously monitor tyre pressure levels and tyre temperature”.
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.
After a Covid-enforced delay, Auto Express has published its 2021 Summer Tyre Test, with Hankook leading a list of nine top tyre brands. Each of the nine tyres displayed strengths in at least one of the test segments. The UK magazine used Continental’s Contidrom proving ground near Hanover in Germany to conduct its objective performance tests, enlisting the help of a local independent tyre tester to get around travel restrictions in the country before verifying the results. The problems of testing tyres in Europe with rules around travel in flux also affected the way Auto Express was able to get tyres to the proving ground; rather than acquire tyres on the open market, it asked manufacturers to send sets, verifying the test-topping tyres against regular production models after the fact. The magazine used the size 225/45 R17, as it had previously in 2018 – a very popular UK size for compact to medium-sized family cars, and in this case one fitted to the tyre test mainstay Volkswagen Golf.
Bridgestone has developed a broad range of technologies and partnerships designed to address the coming wave of electric vehicles. The tyre manufacturer has said its tyre range for electric vehicles will make up one-fifth of its original equipment range by 2024. These tyres contain several technologies that Bridgestone has been developing over the last few years. It worked with BMW to develop dedicated tyres for the i3, i3s and i8 EVs, with its proprietary ologic technology. Ologic offers rolling resistance and aerodynamics benefits. Bridgestone’s Enliten technology meanwhile helps to reduce the weight of tyres by 10 per cent without compromising on wear life – rolling resistance can be reduced by up to 20 per cent, according to the company.
Electric Vehicle (EV) tyres currently represent 11 per cent of Bridgestone EMIA’s total passenger car OE tyre line-up – almost three-times what it was in 2019. Now the company says that figure will reach 20 per cent by 2024. According to the company, Bridgestone is developing a growing number of original tyre fitments specifically engineered for EVs. EV tyres may currently represent 11 per cent of Bridgestone EMIA’s total original equipment (OE) line-up for passenger cars (up from just 4 per cent in 2019), but the company says this figure will be over 20 per cent in 2024.
Redpath Tyres is using e-jobsheet to connect directly with Bridgestone’s FleetBridge system in order to secure “greater shared data accuracy and efficiency” between its business and Bridgestone Europe.
Bridgestone has announced a new long-term partnership with electric vehicle charging solutions supplier EVBox. The partnership aims to expand Europe’s charging infrastructure with the installation of up to 3,500 new charging ports across Bridgestone’s European retail and service network – including Bridgestone’s retail brands like Speedy and First Stop – in a five-year project. Bridgestone calls the partnership the latest part of its commitment to help shape a sustainable future of mobility, supporting the adoption of EVs. The project will begin in France and Italy and expand into the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, and other European countries.