The Bridgestone Corporation is a multinational auto and truck parts manufacturer headquartered in Japan. One of its main products are tyres; as of 2017 it is the largest tire manufacture in the world – before other giants such as Michelin, Goodyear and Continental.
In February 2014, Bridgestone agreed to pay a 425 million USD fine imposed by the United States Department of Justice. The reason for the fine was price fixing and bid rigging in the automotive parts industry.
Short facts about the Bridgestone Corporation
|Transcribed name||Kabushiki-gaisha Burijisuton|
|English name||The Bridgestone Corporation|
|Company type||Public company (K.K.)|
|Traded as||TYO: 5108|
|Index inclusion||TOPIX Large 70|
|Industry||Auto and truck parts|
|Founded||In Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan on the 1st of January 1931|
|Founder||石橋正二郎 (Shōjirō Ishibashi)|
|Subsidiaries||Firestone Tire and Rubber Company|
|Number of employees||143,616 (2017)|
The English name of the company – Bridgestone – comes from a calque translation and transposition of the word ishibashi, which means stone bridge in Japanese. The company was founded by the Japansese businessman Shojiro Ishibashi.
The Bridgestone Corporation is especially famous for its tyres, but the product portfolio includes much more than that, such as various automotive components, industrial products, construction materials, polyurethane foam products, bicycles, sporting goods, and parts and materials used to manufacture electronic products.
Examples of Bridgestone’s automotive products
- Vibration-isolating components
- Air springs for automobiles, trucks and train carriages
- Aluminium wheels
- Polyurethane foam for automotive seats and interiors
Examples of Bridgestone’s industrial products
- Polyurethane foam for furniture
- Polyurethane foam for insulation and sealing in appliances
- Marine hoses for loading and unloading oil tankers
- Wire-blade hoses for construction equipment
- Conveyor belts
- Rubber tracks fro crawler tractors
Examples of Bridgestone’s products for construction and civil engineering
- Polyurethane foam for insulation and sealing in buildings
- Ceiling and roofing materials
- Multi-rubber bearings for building foundations (to decrease the risk of earthquake damage)
- Marine fenders
- Bath fixtures
- Residential flooring
- Pavement additives
- Panel tanks for water storage
Examples of Bridgestone’s products for electronic equipment
- Precision rollers for office machines
- Functional films for solar cells
Bridgestone Aircraft Tyre (USA)
The Bridgestone Aircraft Tyre (USA) division manufactures aircraft tyres and also retread used aircraft tyres to make them usable again.
Bridgestone Cycle Co Ltd
Bridgestone’s line of bicycles is the most extensive one in Japan. Bridgestone offers bicycles under its own brand (for utility bikes and mountain bikes) and under the Anchor brand (for road racing bikes). They also make frames for keirin track racing bikes.
Bridgestone utility and mountain bikes are know for being dependable, comfortable and functional rather than trendy. When Bridgestone entered the nascent mountain bike scene, they eschewed the dominating trends and offered mountain bikes with short chain-stays and steep frame angles.
Examples of sporting goods from Bridgestone
- Golf balls
- Golf clubs
- Golf accessories
- Tennis rackets
- Tennis balls
Bridgestone began making golf products in the mid 1930s, and have used their skills and technical know-how from the field of tyre making to improve their golf ball technology. Bridgestone’s major golf product divisions are located in the United States, Australia and South Korea.
Bridgestone Commercial Services Group
The Firestone and Rubber Company of Akron, United States was purchased by Bridgestone in 1988, and in 1990 the company was amalgamated with the Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd USA to form Bridgestone Firestone North American Holdings Ltd. Later, the North American subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation was named Bridgestone Americas Inc.
In 2007, Bridgestone Americas acquired the outstanding shares of Bandag Inc, a leading truck tyre re-treader based in Iowa, USA. At the time, Bandag had over 900 franchised dealers worldwide.
After the merger, the unit was renamed Bridgestone Bandag, LLC. In 2011, the unit was renamed Bridgestone Commercial Services Group.