BRUSSELS, Belgium — Bridgestone Corp. expects to secure about 100 new OE fitments with European car companies this year, including several with run-flat versions of its popular performance tire lines.
Bridgestone attributed its progress in building its OE business to a "tailoring approach," which involves close cooperation with car makers "to create tire fitments fine-tuned to their specific demands."
Depending on OEM demands, Bridgestone said it can develop advanced tread patterns, for instance, to provide performance enhancements such as tighter cornering abilities by strengthening the sidewalls or using nano-silica-mixing technology to minimize wear and extend tire life.
The company said it secured more than 45 fitments with 10 vehicle makers on more than 15 models since the start of 2018, with 60-plus additional fitments expected to roll out before year-end. The new fitments are on both 2018 and 2019 model-year vehicles and are in addition to approximately 600 fitments the company has in Europe.
Partnerships and co-creation have enabled Bridgestone "to take a step in a new direction," according to Mark Tejedor, vice president of original equipment at Bridgestone EMEA (Europea/Middle East/Africa).
"We are creating new tires that are more efficient and better adapted to vehicles than ever before to keep drivers going, no matter what."
Models featuring Bridgestone as new OE fitment include Ferrari Portofino; Porsche Cayenne; Mercedes A- and C-Class; and Audi A1, A6, A7 and Q2, the tire maker said.
As for tailored fitments, Bridgestone cited Lexus and Mercedes for their request for security in the event of a blowout or punctured tire. The company accommodated them by incorporated run-flat technology (RFT) into its Turanza T005, Bridgestone said.
For the Ferrari Portofino, Bridgestone integrated RFT in its Potenza S007, which is designed to blend high cornering grip with high-speed durability.
And for Porsche, the German sports car maker required dry-handling targets for the new generation Cayenne SUV range, a request that Bridgestone met by creating a "unique sporty high silica compound" in a 21-inch Dueler H/P Sport tire that the tire maker claims to be also "best-in-class" for wet handling.
Audi A.G. and Renault S.A.'s Opel brand were looking to minimize in-vehicle noise and increase comfort for its Audi A6, A7 and Opel Insignia models. Bridgestone met their demands by filling cavities with sound-absorbing materials and making various other adjustments under its proprietary B-Silent Technology.
BMW A.G, on the other hand, needed a tire tailored for its electric vehicles. Bridgestone responded with tires designed with its "ologic" technology.