Bridgestone

Last updated

Bridgestone Corporation
Native name
株式会社ブリヂストン
Romanized name
Kabushiki gaisha Burijisuton
Type Public KK
TYO: 5108
TOPIX Large70 component
Industry Auto and Truck parts
Founded1 March 1931;90 years ago (1931-03-01)
Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan
FounderShojiro Ishibashi
Headquarters,
Japan
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Shuichi Ishibashi
(Global CEO)
Products Motor vehicle tires
RevenueDecrease2.svg ¥3.337 trillion (2016 [1] )
Decrease2.svg¥449.5 billion (2016 [1] )
Decrease2.svg¥265.55 billion (2016 [1] )
Total assets Decrease2.svg¥3.716 trillion (2016 [1] )
Total equity Increase2.svg¥2.287 trillion (2016 [1] )
OwnerIshibashi family (10.2%)
Number of employees
143,616 (2017)
Subsidiaries Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
Website www.bridgestone.com

Bridgestone Corporation (株式会社ブリヂストン, Kabushiki gaisha Burijisuton) is a Japanese multinational auto and truck parts manufacturer founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi (石橋正二郎, Ishibashi Shōjirō) in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a calque translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese.

Contents

As of 2021, Bridgestone/Firestone is the largest manufacturer of tires in the world. Followed by: Michelin (France) Goodyear (United States), MRF (India), Continental (Germany) and Pirelli (Italy). [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Bridgestone Group had 181 production facilities in 24 countries as of July 2018.

History

Origins

The history of Bridgestone America dates back to the two separate companies that merged to form Bridgestone Tire company. The first one is Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, that was founded in August 1900 by Harvey Firestone and was headquartered in Akron, Ohio. The second one is the Bridgestone Tire Company, Ltd., founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi in Japan. [8] The first Bridgestone tire was produced on 9 April 1930, by the Japanese "Tabi" Socks Tire Division (actually made jika-tabi). One year later on 1 March 1931, the founder, Shojiro Ishibashi, made the "Tabi" Socks Tire Division independent and established the Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. [8] in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture. "Bridgestone" was named after the name of the founder, Shojiro Ishibashi (Ishi = Stone, Bashi = Bridge). [9]

Foregoing dependence on European and North American technology, the Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. set its eyes on manufacturing tires based largely on Japanese technology. The fledgling company experienced many difficulties in the areas of technology, production, and sales in the early days. Eventually, improvements were achieved in quality and manufacturing processes which led to the business rapidly expanding in domestic and overseas markets.

Challenges during and after World War II

Wartime regulations were in effect throughout Japan during World War II, and tires also came under the jurisdiction of these regulations. This resulted in nearly all of the company's output being used to satisfy military demand. 1945 saw the end of armed conflict, but the company was devastated by the war. The Tokyo headquarters was destroyed during an aerial bombing raid, and all overseas assets were lost. The plants in Kurume and Yokohama escaped unscathed, and production was able to resume immediately after the war ended. Brushing aside the problems caused by a labour union strike that lasted for forty-six days, the foundations of the company were further reinforced after this.

After the war the company started making bicycles, with the Bridgestone Cycle Company being formed in 1949. [10] From 1952 the first complete powered bicycles were produced, with a 26cc engine. In 1958 the first 50cc Bridgestone motorcycles were manufactured, but the company's main income was from supplying tires to its rival motorcycle makers such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha and it was later decided to cease motorcycle manufacturing. [10]

Technological innovation

Cross section of a tire Bridgestone tire cross section.png
Cross section of a tire

In 1951, Bridgestone was the first company in Japan to begin selling rayon cord tires, and a five-year project to modernize production facilities was started. This year also saw another Bridgestone building opened in Kyōbashi, Tokyo, which contained the Bridgestone Museum. Sales surpassed ten billion yen in 1953, placing Bridgestone at the top of the tire industry in Japan, and celebrations were held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the company's foundation in Kurume.

The sale of nylon tires was started in 1959, and work forged ahead with the construction of the new Tokyo plant, which was opened in 1960, in order to cope with the fast-expanding market for motorization.

Radial tires and overseas expansion

The company issued stock shares and was listed on the stock exchange in 1961. A new system of administration was ushered in by Shojiro Ishibashi as the chairman, and Kanichiro Ishibashi as the president. As part of the transition across to administrative reform, the Deming Plan in honor of W. Edwards Deming, which involves overall quality control activities, was adopted, and the company was awarded the prestigious Deming Prize in 1968. [11] Also, additions were built onto the Tokyo plant in 1962 to house the new Technical Centre, and a progressive system of research and development was established. On the product front, 1967 saw the sale of the company's first ever radial tire, the RD10.

Bridgestone's first overseas plant since the end of the war was opened in Singapore in 1965, and production was also commenced in Thailand in 1969. The 1960s for Bridgestone was an era of overseas expansion that also included the establishment of Bridgestone America in the United States in 1967 to act as Bridgestone's USA representative sales branch.

At the start of the period of Japan's economic stagnation, brought about by the first oil shock, the company was placing even more emphasis on establishing its own technology for the manufacture of radial tires, and it was also at this time that further domestic plants were constructed and fitted out. Its Super Filler Radial was placed on the market in 1978, and in 1979 the company introduced the high-performance POTENZA radial tire, from an Italian word for power.[ citation needed ]

The company was actively engaged in overseas expansion activities at this time. In addition to starting up production in Indonesia and Iran in 1976, it also invested in a Taiwan tire manufacturer and purchased a tire plant and a plant for diversified products in Australia in 1980. The founder, Shojiro Ishibashi, died on 11 September 1976.

On 1 March 1981, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary. At the same time, the company initiated activities to strengthen its home base that supported overseas expansion strategy with the aim of being ranked as one of the world's top three manufacturers of rubber products. New production facilities were also established in Thailand, India, Poland, China, the United States and other countries. The company changed the name from Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. to Bridgestone Corporation in 1984.

Firestone purchase

In 1988, Bridgestone purchased the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio. Placing considerable financial and personnel resources into rebuilding Firestone after the purchase, Bridgestone achieved surplus annual profits for the year 1992 with BFE (Bridgestone Firestone Europe) and again in 1993 with BFS (Bridgestone Firestone USA). The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd. USA were amalgamated in 1990 and became "Bridgestone Firestone North American Holdings Ltd". The North American subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation is now named Bridgestone Americas, Inc. The tire division is Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC. Bridgestone Americas opened a $100 million technical center in Akron in 2012.

Bridgestone's global locations

Bridgestone has major manufacturing plants in many countries around the world. As of 1 April 2011, Bridgestone has 47 tire plants, 29 tire-related plants, 19 raw materials plants, 89 diversified product plants, 4 technical centers, and 11 proving grounds globally. [12] Some of the major plants are located in:

EuropeAmericasAsia/OceaniaMiddle East/Africa
BelgiumArgentinaAustraliaSouth Africa
FranceBrazilChinaCameroon (from 2020)
HungaryCanadaIndiaKenya (from 2023)
ItalyCosta RicaIndonesia
PolandMexicoJapan
PortugalUnited StatesTaiwan
SpainVenezuelaThailand
TurkeyColombiaVietnam
Belarus (from 2026)Bolivia (from 2027)Myanmar (from 2021)
Estonia (from 2024)Puerto Rico (from 2025)South Korea (from 2022)

Australia

Bridgestone Australia began as the SA Rubber Mills in 1939. In 1980 Bridgestone took over the Australian plants which were at that time operated by the Uniroyal Tyre Company. Bridgestone Australia [13] had a major manufacturing tire factory in Australia: located in Salisbury, South Australia (this plant was eventually decommissioned in April 2011). Bridgestone has State Offices in all states of Australia, and has a large number of retail outlets across the country.

In 2000 Bridgestone Australia Ltd. purchased the BANDAG Retreading plant and its operations in Australia. Bandag Manufacturing Pty Limited [14] has 35 franchised dealers across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Nouméa. Bandag Manufacturing Pty Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Australia Limited, and operates under license to Bandag Incorporated. [15] In 2006 Bridgestone purchased Bandag Incorporated, which is now a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation.

From the purchase in 1981, the Australian operations of Bridgestone have been run as a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock exchange. Bridgestone Corporation has maintained a majority share holding. As of mid-2007 the Australian operation was delisted from the Australian Stock exchange and became a solely owned Division of Bridgestone Corporation (pending minority shareholder approval as per Australian Corporate Law).

Following the cancellation on Friday, 11 May 2007, of all shares held by minority shareholders, Bridgestone Australia Ltd. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation of Japan. The selective capital reduction and subsequent privatisation which cost $49 million was approved and completed. Bridgestone Australia Ltd. was delisted from the ASX on 30 May 2007.

Europe

Bridgestone EU has its head office in Brussels, Belgium, and was set up in 1990 as Bridgestone/Firestone Europe SA. Before that, a representative office in Belgium set up in 1972 and sales subsidiary companies and importers in each countries were selling products imported from Japan. There are 7 production plants in the region and a 32 hectare research and development centre near Rome, Italy. The company distributes more than 25 million tires a year through 17 national sales subsidiaries and 2 distributors. They directly employ over 12,000 people with Mr. Tsuda as the CEO.

At present there are national headquarters in the following locations: Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic; Hinnerup, Denmark; Vantaa, Finland; Fresnes, France; Bad Homburg, Germany; Athens, Greece; Budapest, Hungary; Dublin, Ireland; Milan, Italy; Moerdijk, Netherlands; Oslo, Norway; Warsaw, Poland; Alcochete, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; Sundsvall, Sweden; Spreitenbach, Switzerland; Istanbul, Turkey and Warwick, UK; Ulyanovsk, Russia.

Bridgestone EU runs a continent-wide scheme called Truckpoint wherein fleets can take their vehicles to any Bridgestone approved garage throughout Europe and get Bridgestone specialist work carried out on their tires.

There are no Bridgestone factories in the UK but there is a technical bay at which tyres returned by dissatisfied customers are inspected in Coventry.

North America

As part of reinforcement plans, the company purchased a plant in Tennessee from the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, its first manufacturing plant in North America, and started the production of radial tires for trucks and buses in 1983. Bridgestone also has a steel cord plant in Clarksville, Tennessee, named Bridgestone Metalpha. Metalpha is currently ranked as the top provider in the global steel cord market.

In May 1988, a takeover bid of America's No. 2 tire manufacturer, Akron, Ohio-based Firestone, was successful, and Firestone was placed under the Bridgestone umbrella as a subsidiary company. This purchase brought a large number of Firestone global production sites into the Bridgestone organization. These sites included North America, Central and South America, Europe, New Zealand and other locations. Bridgestone also commenced production in Turkey. In 1992, the company established regional corporate offices in Europe and the Americas. [16]

Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSA) is the U.S. subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation. BSA and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market Bridgestone, Firestone, and associate brand tires for consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies also produce air springs, roofing materials, synthetic rubber and industrial fibers and textiles and operate the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers.[ citation needed ]

In November 2010, ASA Automotive Systems Inc. was selected by the Consumer Tire Sales division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO) as the software provider for their North American consumer dealers to supply the industry's leading 'All-in-One' Point-of-Sale, Accounting and Inventory shop management software. [17]

In 2014 Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) unveiled its newly rebranded GCR Tires & Service division. With one of the largest network of commercial stores across the country, GCR's reach extends nationwide. The letters of GCR reflect the last names of the original company founders Balie Griffith, Harold Crawford and Perry Rose. [18]

In 2015, Bridgestone Americas Inc. signed a deal giving its dealers the option to install digital air calibration machines from Excel Tire Gauge Inc. in their stores. The digital air calibration machines streamline the tire inflation process by automatically inflating or deflating tires. [19]

In 2017, Bridgestone Americas consolidated many of their business units into a single building in downtown Nashville, Bridgestone Tower. Nearly 2,000 employees work in the new skyscraper, nestled between the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. [20]

In April 2020, due to demand by essential service providers during COVID-19 pandemic, Bridgestone Americas announced plans to restart its North American commercial tire plants as well as its North American Firestone Industrial Products and Firestone Building Products manufacturing facilities. [21]

Sports sponsorships

Formula racing

Bridgestone started to invest in motorsport in the 1980s by developing race tires for feeder series like Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula Ford, Formula Opel Lotus and karting.

In order to increase the Firestone subsidiary's brand awareness, Bridgestone Firestone NAH Ltd, re-entered the Firestone brand into CART IndyCar open-wheel racing in 1995 to challenge Goodyear. The tires proved better and Goodyear retired for 2000. Since then, Firestone has been the single tire provider for the renamed and disappeared Champ Car, the IndyCar Series and its feeder series Firestone Indy Lights until 2013.

Michael Schumacher in practice at the 2005 United States Grand Prix. Note the Bridgestone branding on the rear wing endplate, the Bridgestone's 'B' logo on the front wing, just under the nosecone and on the side winglet just before the rear wheel. Schumacher (Ferrari) in practice at USGP 2005.jpg
Michael Schumacher in practice at the 2005 United States Grand Prix. Note the Bridgestone branding on the rear wing endplate, the Bridgestone's 'B' logo on the front wing, just under the nosecone and on the side winglet just before the rear wheel.

Bridgestone has supplied tires in Formula One since 1997, although the company one-off produced Formula One tires at the 1976 and 1977 Japanese Grand Prix for Japanese entrants such as Kazuyoshi Hoshino's Heros Racing and Kojima.

Bridgestone used a Ligier JS41 as test bed during 1996. Bridgestone test car Ligier JS41.jpg
Bridgestone used a Ligier JS41 as test bed during 1996.

The Japanese company decided to supply tires for Formula One in 1995, backed-up by the CEO Yoichiro Kaizaki, aiming to improve Bridgestone's name value in the European market which was greatly inferior compared with their archrivals, Michelin. Though it was scheduled to enter the championship in the 1998 season at first, this was brought forward to 1997 because the engineering section led by Hirohide Hamashima had quickly advanced development. Thus, Hiroshi Yasukawa, the general manager of Motorsport Department, also made the best use of the experience and networks in Europe since the Bridgestone's European F2 era (19811984) and constructed logistics for Formula One at once.

The first title was acquired right away in the second year, 1998 by Mika Häkkinen and McLaren-Mercedes. And Bridgestone users took five Drivers' Championship titles and five Constructors' Championship titles (1998, 20012004) for the period that competed with Goodyear (19971998) and Michelin (20012006). Especially, cooperation with Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher functioned well in this period.

From 2008 to 2010 Bridgestone was due to be the sole tire supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship. [22] However, because Michelin chose to conclude its Formula One tire programme at the end of the 2006 season, all teams used Bridgestone tires from the 2007 season to the 2010 Formula One season.

On 2 November 2009 Bridgestone announced that they would not be renewing their contract to supply tires to Formula One teams after 2010. The company said it was "addressing the impact of the continuing evolution of the business environment". [23] Pirelli announced in June 2010 that it would serve as sole supplier for tires in the 2011 season. [24]

Tire Record Table – Races Won
PosTireSeasonsStartsWinsOnly
supplier
WC
Drivers
WC
Constr.
3 Flag of Japan.svg Bridgestone 1976 [25] 2010 2441751161111
6 Flag of the United States.svg Firestone 19501975 121491133

Sports car and touring car racing

In the 1980s and 1990s, Bridgestone provided tires to the Le Mans sport prototypes of teams Nismo and TOM's, backed by Japanese automobile manufacturers Nissan and Toyota respectively. In the early 1990s, Bridgestone expanded to Mercedes-AMG, which entered the DTM and later Le Mans and the FIA GT Championship. The brand left international sports car racing in 2000, but remains as one of the main suppliers in the Japanese Super GT championship.

Motorcycling

In 2002, Bridgestone entered the Grand Prix motorcycle racing's main class MotoGP. From 2009 to 2015, it was the exclusive tire supplier of the championship and reached the milestone of 100 MotoGP victories in 2012. Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi was 'Bridgestone Tyre Adviser' [26] having won two MotoGP titles on Bridgestone tires in 2008 and 2009.

In May 2014, Bridgestone announced they would leave Moto GP at the end of the 2015 season. [27]

Other sports

Bridgestone is the official tire of the National Football League, National Hockey League and the Olympic Games. In addition, it is the title sponsor of the NHL's flagship event, the Winter Classic outdoor game. In 2010, Bridgestone acquired the naming rights to the home venue of the NHL's Nashville Predators calling it Bridgestone Arena. They are also the title sponsor of the Copa Libertadores, the top competition for South American club football.

Diversified products

The predecessors of Bridgestone began making diversified products [28] in the 1930s, soon after they started making tires. Today, Bridgestone diversified operations encompass automotive components, industrial products, polyurethane foam products, construction materials, parts and materials for electronic equipment, bicycles and sporting goods. Diversified business generates about one-fourth of total sales in the Bridgestone Group.

Automotive parts are an especially large line of business for Bridgestone in diversified operations. Bridgestone supplies automakers with vibration-isolating components, such as engine mounts. Bridgestone also supplies air springs for trucks, automobiles and train carriages. Bridgestone market aluminium wheels and other automotive accessories, too.

Industrial products

Bridgestone's industrial products span a vast range, including polyurethane foam for automotive seats and interiors, for bedding and furniture and for insulation and sealing in appliances and buildings; water hoses; marine hoses for loading and unloading oil tankers; specialty precision hose products, such as wire-blade hose for construction equipment and machine tools; conveyor belts; and rubber tracks for crawler tractors. Additionally, they make retreaded tires for aircraft. Their corporate headquarters for the Bridgestone Aircraft tire division is located in Miami in the United States.

The Bridgestone product line in construction and civil engineering materials is similarly broad. Bridgestone supply Multi-Rubber Bearings for installing in foundations to protect buildings from earthquakes, inflatable rubber dams for managing waterways (no longer manufactured – 2008), marine fenders for protecting wharves, additives for pavement, waterproofing sheet, rubberized ceiling and roofing materials, panel tanks for storing water, bath fixtures and residential flooring, air and water systems.

Bridgestone's line of products for electronic equipment includes precision rollers for office machines and functional films for solar cells and plasma displays. In sporting goods, Bridgestone market golf balls and clubs and tennis balls and rackets. Bridgestone's line of bicycles is Japan's most extensive – see above information re. Anchor Cycles.

Bridgestone Commercial Services Group (Bandag)

Logo of Bandag. Bandag logo.png
Logo of Bandag.

On 5 December 2006, Bridgestone Americas and Bandag Inc. announced a merger agreement whereby Bridgestone would acquire Muscatine, Iowa-based Bandag, Inc., a leading truck tire re-treader that was founded in 1957 and had over 900 franchised dealers worldwide at the time. In announcing the merger, Bridgestone's president in Tokyo explained:

Higher fuel prices are prompting customers to cut costs [by using retreads]. It takes time and costs to develop this size of business. We were able to get that all at once.

The transaction was valued at approximately US$1.05 billion. [29] On 31 May 2007, the agreement was consummated and Bridgestone Americas acquired the outstanding shares of Bandag stock for US$50.75 per share. The unit was renamed Bridgestone Bandag, LLC and Saul Solomon was appointed to the position of chairman, CEO and President. Previously, Solomon served as Vice President and General Counsel of BSAH. In the four years following the acquisition, Bandag's headquarters remained in Muscatine, although some processes and functions were consolidated and/or transferred to other facilities. In November 2010, corporate headquarters were moved to Nashville. In May 2011, the unit was renamed Bridgestone Commercial Services Group, eliminating the name "Bandag."

Bicycles

Kabuki head badge. Kabuki head badge.JPG
Kabuki head badge.

The Bridgestone Cycle Co Ltd [30] originated in 1949. It offers bicycles under its own brand and under the Anchor brand. [31]

At one time, Bridgestone marketed bicycles under the name Kabuki. [32]

The U.S. marketing director of the Bicycle division, Grant Petersen, developed a reputation for resisting popular trends in the bicycle industry and instead followed his own personal philosophy of building dependable and comfortable bicycles. Peterson applied this approach to Rivendell Bicycle Works after Bridgestone stopped marketing bicycles in the U.S. [33]

The company was an innovator in the nascent mountain bike scene, designing mountain bikes with shorter chain-stays and steeper frame angles than then popular. This made it more nimble and a better climber.

Until 1986, Bridgestone models were numbered in multiples of 100, with the higher numbers indicating a higher end bike. The entry level road bike in 1986, for example, may have been the Bridgestone 100, while the Bridgestone 700 would have been a competition level race bike. Beginning in 1987 there was a change, with model designations consisting of two letters followed by a numeral. The letters indicated the type of bike, and the number indicated the position in the product lineup. The numbering was also reversed, with the smaller numbers indicating a higher position in the product line. For example, the RB-1 would have been the top of the line road bike, followed by the RB-2, RB-3, etc. [34]

Anchor brand bicycle in a Japanese store Bridgestone Anchor sport RFA900.jpg
Anchor brand bicycle in a Japanese store

Bridgestone is currently building frames in Japan for keirin track racing under Nihon Jitensha Shinkokai approved standards. It is currently producing non-NJS frames for the Japanese market as well.

In Japan, it is known as a manufacturer of utility, mountain and (under the brand name Anchor) road racing bikes.

Bridgestone has also collaborated with Dr. Alex Moulton to produce the Bridgestone Moulton Bicycle and marketed its own folding bicycle, the Bridgestone Picnica.

Bridgestone also released a range of BMX Bicycles in 1981–1982 known as the MKI & MKII.

Motorcycles

Bridgestone motorcycles were a division of the company that produced mopeds and motorcycles from 1952 to 1970. Initially producing power assisted bicycles, the division moved on to producing mopeds and then motorcycles. The motorcycles were technologically advanced and powered by two-stroke engines. The high technical specification resulted in the machines being more expensive compared to other manufacturers models. Production was stopped in 1970 to protect the supply of tires to other manufacturers. [35] [36]

Bridgestone Aircraft Tire

Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) is a manufacturer of aircraft tires as well as retread servicing. Bridgestone America's Holdings announced in May 2006 that it would be moving its Miami, Florida aviation operation to its new 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) facility located in Mayodan, North Carolina, this move is expected to be completed by mid-2007 and will create approximately 95 new jobs. CEO and President of Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) Joe Rayna is quoted as saying; "This move allows us to continue to prepare for a changing market, both in demand and in product mix, New modern aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380, arrive fitted with new Bridgestone technology aircraft tires, and this new facility will complement that technology". [37] Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) has been a major supplier of aircraft tires and retreads to the aircraft industry for over 70 years and has sister aviation facilities in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Belgium.

Golf products

Bridgestone Golf is a division of Bridgestone, [38] and is the brand name under which Bridgestone's Golfing Products are marketed. Bridgestone has been producing golf-related products since 1935. The Golf division of Bridgestone currently produces both clubs, balls and accessories. [39] Along with technical developments in tire technology came breakthroughs in golf ball technology[ citation needed ] that have led Bridgestone to be the number one golf ball producer in Japan.

Design and production of golf clubs followed in 1972.

Bridgestone has global coverage of its golfing products with major divisions in USA (Bridgestone Golf USA), [40] Australia (Bridgestone Golf Australia) [41] and Korea (Sokio Corporation). [42]

Dolphin artificial caudal fin

In 2003, the caudal fin of Fuji, a Bottlenose dolphin bred at the Okichan Theater of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, was necrotic, necessitating the removal of 75% of the fin which made swimming impossible. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium started a project to develop the world's first artificial dolphin caudal fin in cooperation with Bridgestone to replace Fuzi's fin. [43] [44] [45] In the early days, the artificial caudal fin could not be installed well because it could not withstand the swimming of dolphins, but aquariums made improvements and succeeded in installing the artificial caudal fin of the dolphin. [46]

In 2010, it was also installed in Pacific white-sided dolphin named Lanan, who was bred in Notojima Aquarium, and succeeded in installing the second artificial caudal fin in the world. [47]

Bridgestone e-Reporter

Bridgestone e-reporter is a pan-European competition for aspiring young sports journalists, open to all students aged 18–30, who are in full-time education.

Now in its fifth year, Bridgestone e-reporter [48] continues to provide up-and-coming writers with first hand experience, interviewing GP2 drivers and issuing race reports from a European GP2 race weekend.

The 2008 competition was officially launched on 1 February 2008 with the deadline for entries at 12.00 GMT on 31 March 2008. As of 2009, Bridgestone has not held further editions of the eReporter competition. However it may return in a different form in the future.

Bridgestone was the sole tire supplier for the GP2 series, an open-wheeled racing championship that is widely regarded as the feeder series for Formula One.

Controversies

In 2008, Bridgestone ran an advert during the Super Bowl XLII showing a car-driver avoiding several hazards while driving at night, including threatening to run down Richard Simmons, who was embodying a homophobic sissy stereotype, with Ad Age 's critic Bob Garfield describing the advert as "grounded in homophobia". [49] [50]

In February 2014 Bridgestone agreed to a $425 million fine imposed by the United States Department of Justice for price fixing and bid rigging in the automotive parts industry. The company said it regretted the actions that led to the plea deal and said it would take disciplinary action against certain employees. [51]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tire Ring-shaped covering that fits around a wheels rim

A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel's rim to transfer a vehicle's load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface over which the wheel travels. Most tires, such as those for automobiles and bicycles, are pneumatically inflated structures, which also provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock as the tire rolls over rough features on the surface. Tires provide a footprint, called a contact patch, that is designed to match the weight of the vehicle with the bearing strength of the surface that it rolls over by providing a bearing pressure that will not deform the surface excessively.

Michelin Tyre manufacturer based in France

Michelin is a French multinational tyre manufacturing company based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes région of France. It is the largest tyre manufacturer in the world before Bridgestone and larger than both Goodyear and Continental. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the Kléber tyres company, Uniroyal-Goodrich Tire Company, SASCAR, Bookatable and Camso brands. Michelin is also notable for its Red and Green travel guides, its roadmaps, the Michelin stars that the Red Guide awards to restaurants for their cooking, and for its company mascot Bibendum, colloquially known as the Michelin Man.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Global tire manufacturing company

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is an American multinational tire manufacturing company founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling and based in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-moving machinery. It also makes bicycle tires, having returned from a break in production between 1976 and 2015. As of 2017, Goodyear is one of the top four tire manufacturers along with Bridgestone (Japan), Michelin (France) and Continental (Germany).

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 initially to supply solid rubber side-wire tires for fire apparatus, and later, pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles, and the company was a pioneer in the mass production of tires. Harvey Firestone had a personal friendship with Henry Ford, and used this to become the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company automobiles, and was also active in the replacement market.

The Firestone and Ford tire controversy was a period of unusually high failures of Firestone P235/75R15 ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires installed on the Ford Explorer and other similar vehicles. Subsequent investigations linked the failures to accidents that caused 271 deaths and over 800 injuries in the United States dating back to the early 1990s, and more internationally. The revelation led Bridgestone, owner of the Firestone brand, and Ford Motor Company to issue recalls of 14.4 million tires in the United States in August 2000, and more in international markets.

American Machine and Foundry was one of the United States' largest recreational equipment companies, with diversified products as disparate as garden equipment, atomic reactors, and yachts.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is an American company that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of replacement automobile and truck tires, and has subsidiaries that specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. With headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper Tire has 60 manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its worldwide family of subsidiary companies, including the UK-based Avon Tyres brand, which produces tires for motorcycles, road cars and for motor racing.

United States Rubber Company American manufacturer of tires

The United States Rubber Company (Uniroyal) is an American manufacturer of tires and other synthetic rubber-related products, as well as variety of items for military use, such as ammunition, explosives and operations and maintenance activities (O&MA) at the government-owned contractor-operated facilities. It was founded in Naugatuck, Connecticut, in 1892. It was one of the original 12 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and became Uniroyal, Inc., as part of creating a unified brand for its products and subsidiaries in 1961.

MRF (company) Indian company manufacturing tyres etc.

Madras Rubber Factory (MRF) is an Indian Multinational tyre manufacturing company and the largest manufacturer of tyres in India, also the sixth largest manufacturer in the world. It is headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The company manufactures rubber products including tyres, treads, tubes and conveyor belts, paints and toys. MRF also runs the MRF Pace Foundation, Chennai and MRF Challenge in motorsport.

Nokian Tyres plc, headquartered in Nokia, Finland, produces tyres for cars, trucks, buses, and heavy-duty equipment. Known for its winter tyres, Nokian is the only tyre manufacturer with its own permanent winter tyre testing facility in the world. The company's Hakkapeliitta brand name is recognised in Finland as a reputable trademark.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Japanese tire and rubber company

Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. is a global tire and rubber company based in Japan. It is part of the Sumitomo Group. The company makes a wide range of rubber based products, including automobile tires, golf balls and tennis balls. Sumitomo brands include Dunlop Tyres, Falken Tire and Ohtsu Tire.

Bridgestone Golf is a sports equipment company based in Covington, Georgia, United States. The company is a subsidiary of Japanese Corporation Bridgestone. It designs and manufactures a full range of golf equipment including balls, clubs, and accessories utilizing both the Bridgestone and Precept brand names.

Tornel or Hulera Tornel is a Mexican enterprise and only surviving tire producer in Mexico, dedicated to making tires and other automotive industry-related products. Founded in 1933 by Mexican businessman Armando Tornel, who in October 2006 entered the Worldwide Tire Industry Hall of Fame. Tornel has been consolidated, making it the top Latin American tire producer, and one of the largest in the world.

Shōjirō Ishibashi

Shōjirō Ishibashi was a Japanese businessman who founded the Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest maker of tires, in 1931 in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. the company was named after its founder: in the Japanese language, ishi means "stone" and hashi means "bridge", whence the origin of the company's name in English.

Tokai Carbon

Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. is a Japanese company. The company is a developer and stockist of graphite material for use in nuclear power, particularly electrical discharge machining electrode, high temperature, and mechanical applications.

Outline of tires Overview of and topical guide to tires

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to tires:

Seiberling Rubber Company

The Seiberling Rubber Company was an American tire manufacturer for motor vehicles.

Aircraft tire

An aircraft tire or tyre is designed to withstand extremely heavy loads for short durations. The number of tires required for aircraft increases with the weight of the aircraft, as the weight of the airplane needs to be distributed more evenly. Aircraft tire tread patterns are designed to facilitate stability in high crosswind conditions, to channel water away to prevent hydroplaning, and for braking effect.

Inoue Rubber Japanese maker of tires for bicycles, motorcycles, and wheelchairs and other rubber products

Inoue Rubber Co., Ltd. is a Japanese maker of tires for bicycles, motorcycles, and wheelchairs and other rubber products. They market tires under the IRC Tire brand name and have manufacturing facilities in Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They were founded in 1926 in Nagoya, Japan by Mr. Inoue to manufacture bicycle tires and tubes and started manufacturing motorcycle tires in 1952.

In motorsports, a tire war occurs when there are more than one tire manufacturer exists in a series, often with different tire companies under contract with specific teams. Tire wars are often said to be undesirable for motorsports series since it often leads tire manufactures to push the limits of their tires in order to beat the competition which can lead to widespread tire failures across one event such as the 2005 United States Grand Prix or leading to one tire being more successful in said series regardless of the other car components, though others have argued that tire wars push innovation into series where there is one. Tire wars have occurred in series such as Formula One, NASCAR, Super GT, and MotoGP.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Sales and Income | Investor Relations". Bridgestone Corporation.
  2. "10 Largest Tire Manufacturers". Verified Market Research. 20 May 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  3. Sep 08, IN ReviewsUpdated; 2020. "The Largest Tire Manufacturers in the World (New)". Carlogos.org. Retrieved 2 August 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. "Leading tyre manufacturers". Tyrepress. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  5. "Largest tire manufacturer". Statista. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  6. "The World's 15 Largest Tire Manufacturers by Revenue | Market Research Blog". Market Research Reports® Inc. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  7. "Bridgestone remains world's largest tire maker, Michelin shaking up rankings". Rubber & Plastics News. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  8. 1 2 "History Bridgestone". Bridgestone Corporation. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  9. Takahashi, Kosuke (29 August 2009). "Japan on the brink of a new era". Asia Times . Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. 1 2 Weeks, Graham (1996). "Bridgestone Cycle Company - A Potted History". bridgestone.skew.org. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  11. Archived 22 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  12. Bridgestone (1 April 2011), Bridgestone Locations , retrieved 9 May 2011
  13. "Car, 4x4 & Truck Tyres – Bridgestone Australia". Bridgestone Tyres. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  14. "Bandag Australia". Bandag.com.au. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  15. "Long Live Tires | Retread & Retake the Road". Bandag. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  16. "Bridgestone Americas History". Bridgestone Americas, Inc. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  17. "ASA Tire Systems Selected as Software Provider for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Consumer Dealers".
  18. "Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Announces GCR Tires & Service Brand Relaunch". Bridgestone Americas, Inc. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  19. "Bridgestone Signs Deal for Digital Tire Inflation Machines – Suppliers – Modern Tire Dealer". www.moderntiredealer.com. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  20. "Bridgestone Americas moves to downtown Nashville". WKRN.com. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  21. Staff, aftermarketNews (9 April 2020). "Bridgestone Announces Restart Of Manufacturing Facilities". aftermarketNews. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  22. "Latest". Formula1.com. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  23. "News | Corporate | Bridgestone Corporation". Bridgestone.com. 2 November 2009. Archived from the original on 4 November 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  24. "Formula1.com". Formula1.com. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  25. "Japanese Grand Prix 1976". Research-racing.de. 15 June 1993.
  26. "Motorsport News 2015 – KART – AMA MX – AMA SX – Bridgestone Motorsport". Bridgestonemotorsport.com. Archived from the original on 3 June 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  27. "Bridgestone to pull out of MotoGP at the end of 2015". AUTOSPORT.com. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  28. Archived 3 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  29. "Bridgestone and Bandag to Merge, Shares Burn Rubber". 6 December 2006. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  30. "BICYCLE ONLINE". Bscycle.co.jp. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  31. "ブリヂストンのスポーツバイク アンカー|anchor". Anchor-bikes.com. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  32. "Japanese Bicycles in the U.S. Market". Sheldonbrown.com. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  33. "Bridgestone: Beyond the Dream". ebykr.com. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  34. Archived 22 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  35. "Scott's Bridgestone Motorcycles!". www.bridgestonemotorcycle.com. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  36. "Bridgestone Cycle Industries, Tokyo, 1952-70". www.oldjapanesebikes.com. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  37. "Bridgestone Americas, Inc. | Tires Are Just The Beginning". Bridgestone Americas, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 June 2015.
  38. "Bridgestone Golf". Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  39. Archived 5 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  40. "Bridgestone Golf". Bridgestone Golf. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  41. "Bridgestone Golf Australia". Bridgestonegolf.com.au. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  42. "tourstage.co.kr". www.tourstage.co.kr. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014.
  43. "A new beginning for Fuji the dolphin". 15 September 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  44. "Fuji, the Bionic Dolphin With the Artificial Fin (video)". 26 December 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  45. "Fuji The Dolphin's Rubber Tail". 14 December 2004. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  46. 内田詮三 (2012). 沖縄美ら海水族館が日本一になった理由. 光文社新書.
  47. "イルカの人工尾びれを当社ゴム技術により製作".
  48. "News | Bridgestone". Bridgestone Global Website.
  49. Wilke, Michael (13 February 2008). "Commercial Closet: Super Bowl XLII Advertisers Play to Stereotypes and Homophobia". Windy City Times . Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  50. "Monday morning quarterback for the commercials". The Washington Times . 5 February 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  51. "US fines Bridgestone $425mn for price fixing". The Japan News. Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2015.