After 19 years with the company, Greg Ward’s time as Bridgestone as commercial sales director UK & Ireland has come to an end. Ward revealed the news in a social media post dated 28 January 2022 and Tyres & Accessories understands that he has now completed his last day with the premium brand tyre manufacturer. Prior to joining Bridgestone nearly two decades ago, Greg Ward had experience elsewhere in the tyre and automotive business, including at National Tyres. Details of where the highly-experienced commercial vehicle tyre specialist is headed next have not been confirmed.
April’s launch of Bridgestone’s quietest bus and coach tyre ever made followed 18 months of internal testing with its biggest fleet customer. The tyre is in part a product of a lengthy development project with Stagecoach, whose Manchester city centre fleet of green vehicles became the first in Europe to operate on the product. The U-AP 002 reduces rolling resistance, extends mileage, and reduces fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and total cost of ownership according to Bridgestone’s testing against its predecessor in size 275/70 R22.5. The tyre was developed to fulfil the requirements of an electric and hybrid bus fleet, a quickly growing target market.
In August, Bridgestone launched new all-season van tyres under both its eponymous and its Firestone brands, the Duravis All Season and the Vanhawk Multiseason respectively. The Duravis All Season was the first all-season van tyre from the brand, achieving A-rated wet grip, while the Vanhawk Multiseason was a first all-season light commercial vehicle tyre in Europe for its second-line brand. In addition to this product expansion, the manufacturer says that it is gaining traction amongst van fleets for its tyre husbandry support service too, supplementing its expanding product portfolio.
Webfleet Solutions and Bridgestone say that the virtual Commercial Motor Show represents an “incredible opportunity” to publicise their latest products and connected mobility solutions. The companies are working together to demonstrate the advantages of advanced fleet technologies. They say latest solutions can help truck and van operators drive efficiencies, realise cost-savings, reduce their carbon footprint and raise the bar in service delivery. The virtual exhibition and conference runs from 29 September to 1 October. It will present visitors with the latest vehicles, products, and services alongside webinars, live exhibitor chats, video calls, and product demonstrations.
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.