HANNOVER, Germany (Nov. 12, 2013) — Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. is introducing Bridgestone-brand agricultural tires in Europe, targeted at the "growing high-end segment" of the European market.
The product line launch, expected to take place in the second half of 2014, will create a multi-brand strategy in Europe, the firm said, as the Firestone brand will continue as well.
Bridgestone Americas has no plans to introduce a Bridgestone-brand agriculture tire in North America, a company spokesman said in response to a query from Tire Business.
"Bridgestone and Firestone have different brand strengths and attributes," said Lothar Schmitt, director, agricultural and off-the-road tires of Bridgestone Europe. "Together in our multi-brand approach they can provide farmers in all segments the optimal solution"
The multi-brand strategy will mean the Bridgestone brand will focus on the largest, most powerful vehicles and equipment at the top end of the market, with the Firestone brand covering the remainder of the market. Bridgestone said it aims to avoid overlapping sizes and standards between the two brands.
Bridgestone prefaced its announcement by referencing the "changing face of farming" in Europe, noting that the number of farms is dropping while farms are getting larger, often forcing farmers to share their resources and equipment to maximize efficiency.
This evolution "represents a serious challenge to manufacturers of agricultural tires, as they struggle to keep up with the pace of change," the tire maker said.
Bridgestone is previewing the Bridgestone brand product lineup at the biennial Agritechnica trade fair in Hannover Nov. 12-16, and plans to launch the first products at the 2014 REIFEN trade fair in Essen, Germany, in May.
Bridgestone did not say where it will build the Bridgestone-brand farm tires. In Europe it has agricultural tire capacity in Puente San Miguel, Spain.