BLOOMINGDALE, Ill.Bridgestone Retail Operations L.L.C. is adding Toyo's Extensa tire lines to the product portfolio at its 1,700 Firestone Complete Auto Care locations in the U.S., describing Toyo as the logical choice for the retail chain's move to add a complementary brand.
Starting in early October, the Bridgestone retail network will carry 62 sizes of the Extensa A/S and HP lines at its Firestone company retail stores, which Bridgestone said serve 22 million customers annually. The deal with Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. is non-exclusive, Bridgestone Retail said.
Stu Crum, president of Bridgestone Retail, called the Toyo lines a great fit for us and the diverse set of customers we serve. Providing them with the best variety and value is a focus for us, so when we made the decision to extend our product line, Toyo was the logical choice for a supplier.
We know their products and service meet our high standards and offer a solid value for consumers, and their operational model is one that is aligned with our own.
Bridgestone said it will support the product introductions by a comprehensive consumer-facing marketing and in-store point-of-sale promotions program along with employee training and education.
Roy Bromfield, chief operating officer for Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., said the tire maker is proud to join forces with Bridgestone Retail Operations to deliver our high-quality tires to their large base of customers.
Having the Toyo brand available at the Bridgestone retail network stores is a significant milestone for our company as we take major steps to grow our business and our brand awareness, he added.
Bridgestone Retail did not specify how the Extensa H/P and A/S will be positioned within the existing Bridgestone, Firestone and Fuzion brand lineup, other than to say they will complement our current product offerings [and] offer a solid value for our customers....
In a separate comment, Mr. Bromfield said, Our existing dealers are very important to us. This new business builds on our existing relationship with [Tire Wholesaler Warehouse, a Bridgestone business unit], which began last summer and has been extremely successful.
There is plenty of room for retail growth without stepping on existing Toyo dealer's business.
We will continue to make business decisions that help us to achieve our aggressive business goals with the least amount of disruption to our existing dealers.
Neither Bridgestone nor Toyo commented on the sales potential of the deal.
Bridgestone Retail has carried the Falken brand in the past across its entire store network, but no longer carries the brand at the Firestone Complete Auto Care locations. It is still available at the company's Tire Plus and Wheel Works stores.
Toyo launched the Extensa lines in 2009 as entry-level all-season performance and touring tires.
Bridgestone Retail's move coincides with the launch by Toyo Tire U.S.A. of the Celsius line, which Toyo describes as a variable conditions tire positioned between an all-season tire and a winter tire.
Bridgestone Retail is a Bloomington-based subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, operating a network of more than 2,200 company-owned automotive service outlets in the U.S., including Hibdon Tires Plus, Michel Tires Plus and Wheel Works stores in addition to the Firestone Complete Auto Care stores.
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