Bridgestone
Overview
 
The is a multinational rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 conglomerate
Conglomerate (company)
A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate structure , usually involving a parent company and several subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company...

 founded in 1931 by in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a calque
Calque
In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.-Calque:...

 translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

.

As of the end of 2005, production facilities belonging to the Bridgestone Group have increased to 141 spread throughout twenty-four nations of the world. In order to attain this level of globalization, the company established a new set of corporate policies in the year 2001.
Encyclopedia
The is a multinational rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 conglomerate
Conglomerate (company)
A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate structure , usually involving a parent company and several subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company...

 founded in 1931 by in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a calque
Calque
In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.-Calque:...

 translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

.

As of the end of 2005, production facilities belonging to the Bridgestone Group have increased to 141 spread throughout twenty-four nations of the world. In order to attain this level of globalization, the company established a new set of corporate policies in the year 2001. In continuation of this, the company's Brand Vision was also established in 2003.

Origins

The very first Bridgestone tyre was produced on April 9, 1930, by the Japanese "Tabi
Tabi
are traditional Japanese socks. Ankle-high and with a separation between the big toe and other toes, they are worn by both men and women with zori, geta, and other traditional thonged footwear. Tabi are also essential with traditional clothing—kimono and other wafuku as well as being worn by...

" Socks Tyre Division (actually made jika-tabi
Jika-tabi
is a type of outdoor footwear worn in Japan. It was invented in the 20th century.Also known as "tabi boots", they are modelled on tabi, traditional split-toe Japanese socks...

). One year later on March 1, 1931, the founder, Shojiro Ishibashi
Shojiro Ishibashi
was a Japanese businessman who founded the Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest maker of tires, in 1930 in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. Bridgestone was named after its founder: In the Japanese language ishi means a "stone" and bashi mean "bridge"...

, made the "Tabi" Socks Tyre Division independent and established the Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture. "Bridgestone" was named after the name of the founder, Shojiro Ishibashi (Ishi = Stone, Bashi = Bridge).

Foregoing dependence on European and North America technology, the Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. set its eyes on manufacturing tyres based solely on Japanese technology. The foundling 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 on both the domestic and overseas markets.

Challenges during and after World War II

Wartime regulations were in effect throughout the whole of Japan, and tyres 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
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 headquarters was destroyed during an aerial bombing raid, and all overseas assets were lost. Fortunately, the plants in Kurume and Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

 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 World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Bridgestone started manufacturing motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

s, but its main income was from supplying tyres to its rival motorcycle makers such as Honda
Honda
is a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles.Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than...

, Suzuki
Suzuki
is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan that specializes in manufacturing compact automobiles and 4x4 vehicles, a full range of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles , outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines...

 and Yamaha and it was later decided to cease motorcycle manufacturing.

Technological innovation

In 1951, Bridgestone was the first company in Japan to begin selling rayon cord tyres, and a five-year project to modernize production facilities was started. This year also saw another Bridgestone building opened in Kyōbashi
Kyobashi
is the name of a bridge as well as the geographical region around it. Two regions with this name exist in Japan, one is in Tokyo and one lies in Osaka. It refers to a bridge connecting roads to the capital in castle towns.-Tokyo:...

, Tokyo, which contained the Bridgestone Museum. Sales surpassed ten billion yen in 1953, placing Bridgestone at the top of the tyre industry in Japan, and celebrations were held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the company's foundation in Kurume.

The sale of nylon tyres 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 tyres and overseas expansion

The company issued shares and was listed on the stock exchange in 1961, and moved across to a new system of administration with Shojiro Ishibashi as the chairman, and Kanichiro Ishibashi as the president. As part of the transition across to administrative reform, the Deming Plan in honour of W. Edwards Deming
W. Edwards Deming
William Edwards Deming was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer and consultant. He is perhaps best known for his work in Japan...

, which involves overall quality control activities, was adopted, and the company was awarded the prestigious Deming Prize
Deming Prize
The Deming prize, established in December 1950 in honor of W. Edwards Deming, was originally designed to reward Japanese companies for major advances in quality improvement...

 in 1968. 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 first ever radial tyre, 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 tyres, 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 tyre, from an Italian word for power.

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
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 tyre manufacturer and purchased a tyre plant and a plant for diversified products in Australia in 1980. The founder, Shojiro Ishibashi, died on September 11, 1976.

On March 1, 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
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and other countries. The company changed the name from Bridgestone Tyre Co., Ltd. to Bridgestone Corporation in 1984.

Firestone purchase

In 1988, Bridgestone purchased the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply 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. The company...

. 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". In order to increase the Firestone subsidiary's brand awareness, Bridgestone Firestone NAH Ltd, re-entered the Firestone brand into IndyCar
American Championship Car Racing
Since 1916 there has been a recognized United States national automobile racing National Championship for drivers of professional-level, single-seat open wheel race cars. The championship has been under the auspices of several different sanctioning bodies since 1909. Since 1911, the Indianapolis...

 racing in 1995, and in 1997 Bridgestone Corporation Japan entered the Bridgestone brand into F1 racing.

Bridgestone's global locations

Bridgestone has major manufacturing plants in many countries around the world. As of 1 April 2011, Bridgestone has 47 tyre plants, 29 tyre related plants, 19 raw materials plants, 89 diversified product plants, 4 technical centers, and 11 proving grounds globally. Some of the major plants are located in:
Europe Americas Asia/Oceania Middle East/Africa
Belgium Argentina Australia Turkey
France Brazil China South Africa
Hungary Canada India
Italy Costa Rica Indonesia
Poland Mexico Japan
Spain United States Taiwan
Venezuela Thailand

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 Tire Company. Bridgestone Australia had a major manufacturing tyre factory in Australia: located in Salisbury, South Australia
Salisbury, South Australia
Salisbury is a northern suburb in Adelaide, South Australia. It is the seat of the City of Salisbury, and in the South Australian Legislative Assembly electoral district of Ramsay and the Australian House of Representatives divisions of Wakefield and Port Adelaide...

 (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 2002 Bridgestone Australia Ltd purchased the BANDAG Retreading plant and its operations in Australia. Bandag Manufacturing Pty Limited has 35 franchised Bandag 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. 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, May 11, 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 May 30, 2007.

Europe

Bridgestone EU has its head office in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and was set up in 1972. There are 7 production plants in the region and a 32 hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 research and development
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

 centre near Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The company distributes more than 25 million tyres 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
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

; Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

; Hinnerup
Hinnerup
Hinnerup, is a town in central Denmark with a population of 7,191 , located in Favrskov municipality in Region Midtjylland in Jutland just north of Aarhus and is more or less a suburb today. Until January 1, 2007, Hinnerup was the site of the municipal council of the now former Hinnerup...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

; Vantaa
Vantaa
Vantaa is a city and municipality in Finland. Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen make up the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.Vantaa, with its population of , is the fourth most populated city of Finland. The biggest airport in Finland, the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, is located there...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

; Fresnes, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

; Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg vor der Höhe is the district town of the Hochtaunuskreis, Hesse, Germany, on the southern slope of the Taunus, bordering among others Frankfurt am Main and Oberursel...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

; Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

; Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

; Dublin, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

; Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy; Moerdijk
Moerdijk
Moerdijk is a municipality and a town in the South of the Netherlands, in the province of North Brabant.- History :The municipality of Moerdijk was founded in 1997 following the merger of the municipalities of Fijnaart en Heijningen, Klundert, Standdaarbuiten, Willemstad and Zevenbergen. At that...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

; Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

; Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

; Alcochete, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

; Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

; Sundsvall
Sundsvall
-External links:* - Official site from Nordisk Familjebok - Sundsvalls tourist information bureau. - The alternative guide to Sundsvall. - Blog with photos from Sundsvall....

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

; Spreitenbach
Spreitenbach
Spreitenbach is a municipality in the district of Baden in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland, located in the Limmat Valley .It lies southeast of the district center directly on the border with the canton of Zurich....

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

; and Warwick
Warwick
Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England. The town lies upon the River Avon, south of Coventry and just west of Leamington Spa and Whitnash with which it is conjoined. As of the 2001 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 23,350...

, UK.

Bridgestone EU run 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 tyres.

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
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

.

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 tyres for trucks and buses in 1983. Bridgestone also has a steel cord plant in Clarksville, TN named Bridgestone Metalpha. Metalpha is currently ranked as the top provider in the global steel cord market.

In May 1988, a take-over bid of America's No.2 tyre manufacturer Firestone Tire and Rubber Company 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.

Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH) is the U.S. subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation. BSAH and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and associate brand tyres 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 fibres and textiles and operate the world’s largest chain of automotive tyre and service centres.

Bridgestone and Formula One racing

Bridgestone has supplied tyres in Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 since , although the company one-off produced Formula One tyres at the 1976
1976 Japanese Grand Prix
The 1976 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Fuji on October 24, 1976.The 1976 World Championship was to be decided at the Mount Fuji circuit, with Niki Lauda just three points ahead of James Hunt after a season full of incidents including Lauda's near-fatal crash at the Nürburgring...

 and 1977 Japanese Grand Prix
1977 Japanese Grand Prix
The 1977 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 23 October 1977 at Fuji.-Report:Mario Andretti and James Hunt continued their late-season battle, with the American pipping Hunt to the pole, with John Watson heading the second row...

 for Japanese entrants such as Kazuyoshi Hoshino
Kazuyoshi Hoshino
is a former racing driver and businessman from Japan.Hoshino's nickname was . He won the Japanese motocross national championships in the 90cc and 125cc classes for Kawasaki in 1968 before switching to cars as a Nissan factory driver in 1969....

's Heros Racing and Kojima.
The Japanese company decided to supply tyres for Formula One in 1995, backed-up by the CEO
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 Yoichiro Kaizaki, aiming to improve Bridgestone's name value in the European market which was greatly inferior compared with their archrivals, Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

. Though it was scheduled to enter the championship in the 1998 season
1998 Formula One season
The 1998 Formula One season was the 49th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It commenced on March 8, 1998, and ended on November 1 after sixteen races.-Season summary:...

 at first, this was brought forward to because the engineering section led by Hirohide Hamashima
Hirohide Hamashima
, also known as Hammy, is the director of the Bridgestone's Motorsport Tyre Development.- Career :After graduating from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for master's course in macromolecule, Hamashima joined a Japanese tire company, Bridgestone, in 1977.He is consistently working on...

 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
Formula Two
Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing. It was replaced by Formula 3000 in 1985, but the FIA announced in 2008 that Formula Two would return for 2009 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship...

 era (1981
1981 European Formula Two season
The 1981 European Formula Two season was contested over 12 rounds.-Calendar:-Driver:For every race points were awarded: 9 points to the winner, 6 for runner up, 4 for third place, 3 for fourth place, 2 for fifth place and 1 for sixth place. No additional points were awarded. The best 9 results count...

1984
1984 European Formula Two season
The 1984 European Formula Two season was contested over 11 rounds. 13 different teams, 32 different drivers, 8 different chassis and 2 different engines competed.-Calendar:Note:Race 11 stopped due to heavy rain and re-started.-Driver:...

) and constructed logistics for Formula One at once.

The first title was acquired right away in the second year, 1998 by Mika Häkkinen
Mika Häkkinen
Mika Pauli Häkkinen is a Finnish racing driver and two-time Formula One World Champion...

 and McLaren-Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz in motorsport
Throughout its long history, Mercedes-Benz has been involved in a range of motorsport activities, including sportscar racing and rallying, and is currently active in Formula Three, DTM and Formula One.-Early history:...

. And Bridgestone users took five Drivers' championship titles and five Constructors' championship titles for the period that competed with Goodyear
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery....

 (–) and Michelin (–). Especially, cooperation with Scuderia Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari is the racing team division of the Ferrari automobile marque. The team currently only races in Formula One but has competed in numerous classes of motorsport since its formation in 1929, including sportscar racing....

 and Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher is a German Formula One racing driver for the Mercedes GP team. Famous for his eleven-year spell with Ferrari, Schumacher is a seven-time World Champion and is widely regarded as the greatest F1 driver of all time...

 functioned well in this period.

From 2008 to 2010 Bridgestone was due to be the sole tyre supplier to the FIA Formula One World Championship. However, because Michelin chose to conclude its Formula One tyre programme at the end of the 2006 season
2006 Formula One season
The 2006 Formula One season was the 57th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship which began on March 12 and ended on October 22 after eighteen races. The Drivers' Championship was won by Fernando Alonso of Renault F1 for the second year in a...

, all teams used Bridgestone tyres from the 2007 season
2007 Formula One season
The 2007 Formula One season was the 58th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship, which began on 18 March and ended on 21 October after seventeen events. The Drivers' Championship was won by Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen by one point at the...

 to the 2010 Formula One season
2010 Formula One season
The 2010 Formula One season was the 61st Formula One season of World Championship motor racing competition. Red Bull Racing won its maiden Constructors' Championship with a one-two finish in Brazil, while Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel won the Drivers' Championship after winning the final race...

.

On November 2, 2009 Bridgestone announced that they will not be renewing their contract to supply tyres to Formula One teams after 2010. The company said it was "addressing the impact of the continuing evolution of the business environment". Pirelli
Pirelli
Pirelli & C. SpA is a diverse multinational company based in Milan, Italy. The company, the world’s fifth largest tyre manufacturer, is present in over 160 countries, has 20 manufacturing sites around the world and a network of around 10,000 distributors and retailers.Founded in Milan in 1872,...

 announced in June 2010 that it would serve as sole supplier for tyres in the 2011 season
2011 Formula One season
The 2011 Formula One season was the 62nd FIA Formula One season. The original calendar consisted of twenty rounds, including the inaugural running of the Indian Grand Prix before the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Pirelli returned to the sport as tyre supplier for all teams, taking over...

.
Tyre Record Table - Races Won
Pos Tyre Seasons Starts Wins Only
supplier
WC
Drivers
WC
Constr.
2  Japan Bridgestone 1976
1976 Formula One season
The 1976 Formula One season included the 27th FIA Formula One World Championship season, which commenced on January 25, 1976, and ended on October 24 after sixteen races...

 – 2010
2010 Formula One season
The 2010 Formula One season was the 61st Formula One season of World Championship motor racing competition. Red Bull Racing won its maiden Constructors' Championship with a one-two finish in Brazil, while Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel won the Drivers' Championship after winning the final race...

244 175 116 11 11
5  United States Firestone
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply 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. The company...

1950
1950 Formula One season
The 1950 Formula One season included the inaugural FIA Formula One World Championship season, which commenced on May 13, 1950, and ended on September 3 after 7 races...

1975
1975 Formula One season
The 1975 Formula One season was the 26th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1975 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers which were contested concurrently from January 12 to October 5 over fourteen races...

121 49 11 3 3

Diversified products

The predecessors of Bridgestone began making diversified products in the 1930s, soon after they started making tyres. 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 supply automakers with vibration-isolating components, such as engine mounts. Bridgestone also supply 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 of items. They include 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 retread
Retread
A retread, or "recap," is a previously worn tire which has gone through a remanufacturing process designed to extend its useful service life.Retreading starts with a safety inspection of the tire. The old tread is then buffed away, and a new rubber tread is applied to the bare "casing" using...

ed tyres for aircraft. Their corporate headquarters for the Bridgestone Aircraft tyre 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)

On December 5, 2006, Bridgestone Americas and Bandag Inc. announced a merger agreement whereby Bridgestone would acquire Muscatine, Iowa
Muscatine, Iowa
Muscatine is a city in Muscatine County, Iowa, United States. The population was 22,886 in the 2010 census, an increase from 22,697 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Muscatine County...

 based Bandag, Inc., a leading truck tyre re-treader
Retread
A retread, or "recap," is a previously worn tire which has gone through a remanufacturing process designed to extend its useful service life.Retreading starts with a safety inspection of the tire. The old tread is then buffed away, and a new rubber tread is applied to the bare "casing" using...

 that was founded in 1957 and had over 900 franchise
Franchising
Franchising is the practice of using another firm's successful business model. The word 'franchise' is of anglo-French derivation - from franc- meaning free, and is used both as a noun and as a verb....

d dealers worldwide at the time. In announcing the merger, Bridgestone's president in Tokyo explained: The transaction was valued at approximately US$1.05 billion. On May 31, 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

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

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

The U.S. marketing director of the Bicycle division, Grant Petersen
Grant Petersen
Grant Petersen is a bicycle designer and the founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works. He was U.S. marketing director for Bridgestone Cycle , Inc...

, 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
Rivendell Bicycle Works
Rivendell Bicycle Works is a producer of lugged steel bicycle frames, located in Walnut Creek, California, United States. Rivendell produces stock and customized frames. Rivendell frames are designed in the U.S., with manufacturing of stock frames in the United States, Japan, and Taiwan...

 after Bridgestone stopped marketing bicycles in the U.S.

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

Bridgestone is currently building frames in Japan for keirin
Keirin
is a track cycling event in which racing cyclists sprint for victory. Keirin originated in Japan in 1948; the first Olympic competitions in the sport occurred in 2000....

 track racing under Nihon Jitensha Shinkokai approved standards. They are also currently producing non-NJS frames to the Japanese market as well.

In Japan, it is known as a manufacturer of utility bicycle, mountain bike and road bike for racing are sold by the brand of Bridgestone Anchor only in Japan.

Bridgestone has also collaborated with Dr. Alex Moulton
Alex Moulton
Dr. Alexander Eric Moulton CBE is an English engineer and inventor, specialising in suspension design.Moulton is the great-grandson of the rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton, the founder of the family business George Spencer Moulton & Co...

 to produce the Bridgestone Moulton Bicycle
Moulton Bicycle
Moulton is an English bicycle manufacturer. The company was founded in 1962 by Dr Alex Moulton, who designed the "Hydrolastic" and rubber cone suspension systems for the BMC Mini motorcar, and the later "Hydragas" system used by its successor companies....

 and marketed their own folding bicycle, the Bridgestone Picnica
Bridgestone Picnica
The Bridgestone Picnica is a belt-driven bicycle introduced in the early 1980s and carried in the Bridgestone Cycle USA catalogs from 1985 through 1990. It weighs 29 pounds and uses a tooth-belt drive like auto timing belts and Harley-Davidson drive belts, along with a novel two-part chainring that...

.

Bridgestone Aircraft Tire

Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) is a manufacturer of aircraft tyres as well as retread servicing. Bridgestone America's Holdings announced in May 2006 that it would be moving its Miami, FL
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 aviation operation to its new 160000 square feet (14,864.5 m²) facility located in Mayodan, NC
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, 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
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

, arrive fitted with new Bridgestone technology aircraft tyres, and this new facility will complement that technology
". Bridgestone Aircraft Tire (USA) has been a major supplier of aircraft tyres and retreads to the aircraft industry for over 70 years and has sister aviation facilities in Tokyo, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Belgium.

Golf Products

Precept Golf is a division of Bridgestone, 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.
Along with technical developments in tyre technology came breakthroughs in golf ball technology. that have led Bridgestone to be the number one golf ball
Golf ball
A golf ball is a ball designed to be used in the game of golf.Under the Rules of Golf, a golf ball weighs no more than 1.620 oz , has a diameter not less than 1.680 in , and performs within specified velocity, distance, and symmetry limits...

 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) Australia (Bridgestone Golf Australia) and Korea (Sokio Corporation).

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 continues to provide up-and-coming writers with first hand experience, interviewing GP2
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

 drivers and issuing race reports from a European GP2 race weekend.

The 2008 competition was officially launched on February 1, 2008 with the deadline for entries at 12.00 GMT on March 31, 2008.

Bridgestone is the sole tyre supplier for the GP2 series
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

, an open-wheeled racing championship that is widely regarded as the feeder series for Formula One.

Main

Bridgestone Corporation Japanese homepage Bridgestone Corporation English homepage Bridgestone Europe Headquarter, Brussels

MotorSport

Bridgestone Motorsport English homepage Bridgestone e-reporter homepage

Bicycles


Motorcycles

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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