TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. is planning to invest $2 billion over the coming few years at 20 factories worldwide to "reinforce its structure for producing premium products," the company said in its recently released 2023 Integrated Report.
For passenger tires, Bridgestone said it will focus investments on production of larger-rim-diameter tires and products equipped with the group's Enliten "light-weighting" technology.
"To put it simply, Enliten is a base technology which enables 'ultimate customization' to 'sharpen edge' in tire performance," Global CEO Shuichi Ishibashi wrote in the report. "In other words, it elevates all conventional performances and, in addition, largely evolves environmental performance leading to sustainability, as well as performance that not only meet the apparent needs and potential wants of specific markets and customers, but that further inspires and delivers new value which the market and customer may not have even imagined."
In North America and Europe, the firm has set a goal of having larger rim-diameter tires (those 18 inches and above) account for roughly 65% of its original equipment sales volume and 40% of replacement market passenger tire sales volume in 2023.
Additionally, the company will focus on tires with 20-inch and larger rim diameters to meet what it expects will be "strong" growth in demand tied to the accelerated shift to electric vehicles, in particular in the U.S., which is Bridgestone's largest market.