In 2018, Bridgestone, the world’s largest tyre and rubber company, was chosen to provide over 120 new original equipment fitments in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). This represents an increase of more than 30 per cent. The fitments are spread across more than 40 different models from 15 different manufacturers.
Bridgestone says that they are leading the industry for investments in Research & Development. And Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) clearly appreciate these investments. The quality and innovation of the Bridgestone premium tyre range is underlined by the car manufacturers who are committing to using them as original equipment, including brands such as Toyota, Mercedes and Porsche.
At the same time, Bridgestone continues to serve as the primary supplier for Audi, SEAT, Skoda and remains strategic partner of the Volkswagen Group. At Audi, the volume of fitments has even doubled over the course of the last five years. In addition, Bridgestone has taken a strong position with BMW. This is best acknowledged through the extensive choice of Bridgestone fitments as original equipment for the BMW 3-Series, the BMW 7-Series, BMW X5/X7 and BMW Z4.
Vehicle manufacturers have chosen Bridgestone tyres for their original equipment fitments for a wide variety of models. They include electric/hybrids such as BMW i3s, Toyota Corolla, the universal Audi A6 Allroad, tourers such as the Opel Insignia, the innovative BMW 8-series, as well as the luxury Porsche Cayenne and sport cars including the Ferrari Portofino and the Renault Mégane R.S. and R.S. Trophy. More than 85 per cent of the fitments are now for tyres with a diameter of 17” or greater.
Going the extra mile
Bridgestone claim to go the extra mile when it comes to developing and designing tyres. The company works in synergy with manufacturers, accommodating their requests with imagination and creativity. The tyres are fine-tuned to specific vehicle designs to ensure every element of performance. This allows Bridgestone to respond to all sorts of challenges – ranging from rolling resistance and fuel consumption, to noise reduction, driver comfort and drive behaviour – and incorporate appropriately targeted technologies into the tyres to achieve a specific improvement.
Bridgestone always pushes standards higher in the area of technology with solutions such as B-Silent, ologic and the improved Run-Flat Technology. Every single component of Bridgestone tyres is engineered to respond to the requirement of the OEMs. Cutting-edge tyre design technologies such as low-wear Nano Pro tech, highly dispersible Silica compounds and newly designed patterns, cavity shapes and optimised skin depth as well as innovative mixing processes, allow Bridgestone to find the best balance between the tyres’ characteristics and the vehicle’s setup.
Partnerships for the future
According to Mark Tejedor, Vice President of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA, the tailored approach allows Bridgestone to optimise the unique character of any vehicle. ‘In an industry in rapid transformation, where vehicles are becoming more and more CASE – connected, autonomous, shared and electric – Bridgestone delivers new solutions and technologies answering car manufacturer’s most demanding challenges. The tyres we are developing today are aimed at meeting needs for the next two to five years and far beyond.’
Partnerships and co-creation have resulted in more than tailored designs. ‘It’s enabled us to take a step in a new direction that leads decisively into the future,’ says Tejedor. ‘We are creating new tyres as well as mobility solutions and services that are more efficient and better adapted to vehicles and new automotive developments than ever before. By doing this, we will keep drivers going, no matter what.’