Bridgestone: A Global Leader in Tires

JamesFeb 23, 2024, 09:25 PM

Bridgestone Corporation of Japan is the largest tire and rubber product manufacturer in the world and one of the three giants in the global tire industry. The Bridgestone Group, which ranks at the forefront of the world's rubber and tire industries, has been adhering to the corporate policy of "contributing to society with the highest quality" since its establishment in 1931, and continues to provide products that are loved by users with different consumption needs.


Current Status of Bridgestone Corporation


Bridgestone Corporation (formerly Ishibashi, Japanese: kabushiki xi she bridgestone, English: Bridgestone Corporation, TSE1: 5108) is a tire factory established by Mr. Shoichiro Ishibashi in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan in 1931. It ranked 276th in Fortune's Global 500 list in 2012. The English name of the Company is a translation based on the founder's surname, Ishibashi. Bridgestone is the largest tire manufacturer in Japan and the world. The Bridgestone Group has been known as "Ishibashi Brand" in Chinese for years, but today it is known by the Company's unified phonetic translation, Bridgestone.


After World War II, Bridgestone began to produce motorcycles, but its main income came from supplying tires to its motorcycle competitors, such as Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha, which made profits. Therefore, Bridgestone later stopped the production of motorcycles and focused on developing tire products.


In 1988, Bridgestone acquired the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of the United States. But in 2000, it was revealed that the off-road tires provided to Ford Motor Company, used on Ford Explorer models, had design flaws, causing nearly a hundred road accidents and dozens of deaths, seriously damaging the brand image of Ford and Firestone tires, and causing significant financial loss to the parent company Bridgestone. As a result, Bridgestone withdrew the Firestone tire brand in 2002, retaining only a portion of the product styles in North America for loyal customers of the brand.


Bridgestone provided tires for the Ferrari team, Williams team, Toyota team, Midland team, and Super Aguri team in the 2006 Formula One World Championship, and became the only tire supplier for the Formula One World Championship in 2007, but announced in 2010 that it would no longer supply tires to F1. The company is also the title sponsor of the Bridgestone Invitational, one of the events of the Professional Golf Championships.


Currently, as a world-renowned multinational corporation, Bridgestone has sales regions spread across more than 150 countries, has 50 tire factories, 122 other tire-related factories, and owns technology development centers in Tokyo(Japan), Akron(U.S.A), Rome(Italy), Wuxi(China), Yokohama(Japan), Bangkok(Thailand).


In 2014, the group's total sales reached 3.6739 trillion yen. In 2013, it had a 14.6% share of the world's tire market, making it one of the world's largest tire manufacturers and keeping the company in Fortune magazine's list of the world's top 500 companies.


Anywhere in the world, wherever there are cars, there is Bridgestone. For freight transportation and human driving safety, Bridgestone provides high-quality tires and their services globally. Its goal is to provide better quality products and services as a top manufacturer in various product fields and in various countries and regions for a wider range of users.


Bridgestone Bicycle Company sells under two brands, "Bridgestone" and "Anchor". It is noteworthy that the founder of Bridgestone Corporation, Shojiro Ishibashi, is the maternal grandfather of Yukio Hatoyama.


The Path of Bridgestone Brand

In 1929, the predecessor of Bridgestone, named "SIMA House" Socks Store, when Shojiro Ishibashi, the president of Nippon Socks Co., Ltd., decided to expand into the tire industry due to his keen business sense, foresight, and belief in "realizing the domestic production of tires with Japanese funds reliant on Japanese technology", this highly risky business decision, as expected, was opposed by almost everyone. Only Takeshi Kunishima, a professor specializing in rubber research, offered to provide technical assistance, provided that Shojiro Ishibashi could invest an annual profit of Nippon Socks Company, 1 million yen in research funding, which was likely to be a complete waste. Over the past 24 years, Shojiro Ishibashi has made "SIMA House" a well-performing clothing shop that he inherited from his father, making it a leading sock company in Japan. Later, no one would have expected that this bold but correct move by Shojiro Ishibashi would create Bridgestone’s glittering today. Today, Bridgestone has become the world's largest tire and rubber product manufacturer and one of the top three brands in the world's tire industry, providing customers worldwide with high-quality tire products and other types of rubber products.


Like stories of great entrepreneurs who have experienced arduous and extraordinary entrepreneurial journeys, Shojiro Ishibashi is no exception, especially this time he is going to venture into a completely unfamiliar tire industry. He lacks production equipment, technical talents, and his predicament can be imagined. Overcoming the challenge, with his perseverance, Shojiro Ishibashi and his staff, striving for entrepreneurship under tough conditions, keep exploring and trying for the "future" tire business. Finally, on April 9, 1930, they succeeded in producing the first Japanese tire. Shojiro Ishibashi's successful development didn't bring him much excitement because in the first period, Bridgestone tires' sales in the country were not very smooth. But since 1931, Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. was officially established and began market development activities for tire products. On the other hand, through continuous technical improvement, detailed service concepts, and rich marketing strategies, Bridgestone quickly broke the deadlock of unfavorable sales.


At the same time, Bridgestone's tire quality began to be recognized in the Japanese market, it became popular, and it gradually expanded to the European and American international market. Shortly after successfully producing the first Japanese tire, Shojiro Ishibashi, who was full of legendary color in the hearts of Japanese citizens, gave another surprise to the future of tires. He named the tire brand "Bridgestone", which was not only an English translation of the family name "Ishibashi", but also carried Shoichiro Ishibashi's great dream that Bridgestone would become a brand well known in the international market.


Bridgestone, a tire brand that is respected by people, was born in this way, and in the following eighty years, millions of people around the world have felt the convenience and reliability brought by its continuous technological improvements.


Bridgestone Brand Philosophy

In April 1956, Bridgestone celebrated its 25th anniversary with a grand ceremony. In the newly built memorial hall of the Kurume factory, the company song composed by the president Shojiro Ishibashi and Takehito Kunima was also unveiled. Since then, Bridgestone has enthusiastically welcomed the post-war rapid development with a new look.


May 1, 1961,

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