Bridgestone reports that it has strengthened its senior management team with appointments to both its consumer and commercial sales sectors. After 24 years with Bridgestone, John Folliss is retiring as North Region Commercial Business Unit Director to be replaced by Greg Ward, who has served as the company’s Commercial Sales Director, UK and Ireland, for the past 17 years.
Far from there being one trump card to keep commercial fleets happy and content, Bridgestone believes there are a number of compelling factors that combine to keep its customers on the right road. Bridgestone’s commercial sales director Greg Ward tells Tyres & Accessories that a number of factors combine to make Bridgestone a top proposition to commercial fleets. The manufacturer has invested in digital mobility solutions, while its latest tyres for the segment introduce improved fuel efficiency and durability characteristics.
Having recorded a number of significant fleet wins during 2017, Bridgestone states that a number of factors combined make its proposition attractive to fleets when the pitching process begins. Fleets signing deals with Bridgestone in 2017 include Simon Gibson Transport, ARR Craib, Greggs, and the global First Group agreement. The company says there isn’t one compelling factor to secure a fleet business for a premium tyre manufacturer; in fact commercial sales director Greg Ward believes there are five or six behind any successful partnership.
By all accounts the UK commercial vehicle tyre market remains a tough environment. low cost oversupply has been rife for years. In addition, a number of heavyweight players are using premium products and smart integrated service offers to compete for the largest truck and bus fleets. With this competitive context in mind, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Bridgestone North Europe region commercial sales director Greg Ward and found out more about how the company continues to grow.
Bridgestone has secured the largest commercial fleet contract in its history, a $110m, five-year deal with transport operator FirstGroup. Bridgestone will supply tyres to more than 60,000 of FirstGroup’s buses and coaches in the USA, Canada and the UK.
Bridgestone has extended its fleet supply agreement with Arla Foods, taking the relationship into a 10th consecutive year. In addition to its premium brand tyres, the manufacturer will also supply its tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) and Total Tyre Care support to the 13,500-strong dairy farmer cooperative until at least 2020. Arla said call-out times have been reduced by up to 30 per cent as a direct result of Bridgestone’s support, explaining the decision to renew its contract.
A luxury coach hire company has opted to extend its tyre contract with Bridgestone by three years. The operators opted to extend a tri-party agreement along with Watling Tyres, who will manage the PPK contract and service each vehicle, fitting Bridgestone M788 products. The fleet comprises 61 coaches, running on 295/80 R22.5 and 315/80 R22.5 tyre sizes.
One of the UK’s leading transport operators has extended a fleet agreement with Bridgestone. The tyre manufacturer will supply First Bus with its range of premium products to cover different regions in the UK, predominantly Yorkshire and the south west. The deal covers around 40 per cent of the overall First Bus fleet, which represents growth for Bridgestone.
The organiser of the 2015 Commercial Vehicle Show has predicted that official, independently audited figures will prove it was “one of the busiest” editions of the annual event since the UK came out of recession. Stating that the second day in particular (15 April) saw packed halls and long registration queues, Rob Skelton, CV Show Director, said: “There was a buzz about the CV Show this year right from the very start and attendance levels were high.
The strong representation of the tyre and wheel business at April’s Commercial Vehicle Show 2015 proved that the show is considered an increasingly important platform for those within the business. Indeed, Giti Tire’s notably larger stand, effectively re-launching its corporate identity, and the presence of Pirelli after a decade of non-attendance – alongside strong commitments from all the leading UK CV brands; major CV tyre wholesalers, Kirkby Tyres, RH Claydon and Kings Road Tyres; fleet servicing companies; and garage machinery providers.
Bridgestone exhibited from a large stand at this year’s CV Show, saying that the annual event reaped “a number of quantifiable rewards with many new relationships forged”. A contract extension with Axis Fleet Management. Bridgestone also commented that visitor numbers had risen on 2014 figures, suggesting that its Bridgestone Partner network, which promises greater support to dealers and increased reductions in fleet operating costs, was an attractive proposition. The show represented the European launch of Bridgestone Partner, which will consist of over 350 truck tyre specialists across the UK and Ireland implementing Bridgestone’s ‘Total Tyre Care’ approach.
Bridgestone has extended its fleet agreement with Arla Foods. The 13,500-strong global dairy farmer cooperative now has a deal in place with Bridgestone up until 2018. The tyre manufacturer will supply its premium tyre range and Total Tyre Care services, continuing a partnership that goes back 10 years in the UK. Bridgestone also supplies Arla in the north Europe region, specifically markets in Denmark and Sweden.
Bridgestone has renewed its largest fleet contract for a further five years. Announced at the CV Show, the deal with Ryder, the UK’s leading provider of commercial vehicle rental, contract hire and maintenance solutions, represents a multi-million pound deal covering more than 24,500 trucks and trailers. Bridgestone’s 24-hour tyre management service network Truck Point was cited as a major factor behind Ryder’s decision to opt for the brand.