Bridgestone has continued to be a front runner when it comes to getting tire fitments from the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the world. In 2019, Bridgestone continued to be the leading tire provider for renowned brands like BMW, Audi, SEAT and Toyota, and also continued to be the main tire supplier for automotive manufacturers like Volkswagen, Skoda and Mercedes.
The company earned this large number of OE fitments thanks to its commitment to research and development, and its expertise and dedication in improving tire technology in partnerships with automakers that ranged from path-breaking CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric) projects to enhancing the performance of tires through new tire technologies and solutions, like the innovative Enliten technology. Bridgestone further reinforced its position as the largest tire and rubber company in the world by providing approximately 100 new original fitments in the EMEA region. Tehse fitments were spread across over 50 different models from 14 manufacturers. The company’s fitments for tires with a diameter of 18” or greater (HDR+) grew by over 10 percent from 2018.
Enliten is a new lightweight tire technology that Bridgestone pioneered in 2019 to help address global mobility challenges regarding sustainability. Designed to be an environment friendly above all things, Enliten makes it possible for tires to have super low rolling resistance, thus significantly increasing a vehicle’s fuel efficiency and battery use, while requiring the use of less materials for their manufacture. This further reduces the environmental footprint of the tires made using Enliten technology. The first production model made in 2019 which used tires with Enliten technology were Volkswagen’s new, all-electric ID.3 and the Audi RS Q3. In 2020, Bridgestone will work on making the use tires with Enliten technology more widespread and secure OE fitments from more models and manufacturers.
A record-breaking partnership
The company also focused a lot on partnerships and helping its OEM partners achieve their goals in 2019. Bridgestone developed record-breaking tires for brands like Volkswagen and Renault.
Bridgestone collaborated with Volkswagen for making custom-engineered Bridgestone Potenza tires for Volkswagen’s electric supercar, the ID.R. These specially made tires were used to help Volkswagen break the world famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife’s EV track record by 40.56 seconds.
Renault also used high performance Potenza S007 tires in a Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy-R to break an Nürburgring record thus highlighting the performance of Bridgestone tires, and the company’s dedication to its partners.
Developing CASE and space mobility.
In 2019, Bridgestone also worked on proprietary technologies for future mobility, like B-Silent technology for reducing in-vehicle noise, B-Seal and Run-Flat Technology for continuous mobility and ologic technology for lowering rolling resistance. Such technologies will help Bridgestone meet new mobility demands and respond to requirements that vehicle manufacturers will have to make CASE and sustainable mobility a reality.
SEAT is a manufacturer which used Bridgestone’s ologic technology for the tires that were fitted in its Minimó electric concept car. The small two-passenger, all-electric vehicle was designed to suit mobility requirements in an urban environment in the future. Bespoke Bridgestone Connect ‘smart’ tires, which relay information on tyre load, pressures, grip level and tire health to the interior screens were custom developed for Nissan’s IMQ EV concept vehicle.
Bridgestone Corporation also teamed up with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota to commit to an international space exploration mission. As part of the project, Bridgestone will help explore the properties that tires used on manned, pressurized rovers should have and explore ways in which they can make better contact with the surface of the moon.
Commenting on Bridgestone’s achievements in 2019 was Mark Tejedor, VP Original Equipment, Bridgestone EMIA: “Sustainability, CASE mobility and partnerships were three huge focuses for us in 2019. Which is no surprise – these are the crucial ingredients needed for a smarter, more efficient future of mobility. Through innovating and taking on new and demanding challenges – alongside great partners working under a similar vision to meet similar goals – we’ll bring this era of mobility to life. I have no doubt that we will go even further in meeting this goal in 2020.”
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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