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Bridgestone Expanding AG Strategy in Europe

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Bridgestone Europe will introduce the Bridgestone brand into the European agricultural tire market, targeting the growing high-end segment. The brand, which will focus on meeting the special needs of the largest, most powerful agricultural vehicles and equipment according to Bridgestone, will be previewed at Agritechnica in Hanover this week (Nov. 12 – 16 2013), while the company will launch its first product during May 2014’s Reifen show in Essen, Germany, making it available for sale in Europe during the second half of the year.

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The new Bridgestone agricultural tire range will complement the existing Firestone agricultural tire business, which holds a strong position and has built a strong position in the European market, offering a large number of farmers high levels of performance and productivity. With Bridgestone focusing on the largest vehicles and equipment at the top end of the market, the Company aims to avoid overlapping sizes and standards between the two brands.

It is not known what Bridgestone Corp.’s plans for the Bridgestone ag tire line may be relative to North America.

“Bridgestone and Firestone have different brand strengths and attributes. Together in our multi-brand approach they can provide farmers in all segments the optimal solution” says Lothar Schmitt, director Agricultural and Off-the-Road tires of Bridgestone Europe.

Bridgestone has identified an opportunity in the rapidly changing face of farming in Europe, where farms are becoming fewer in number but larger in size, often sharing their resources and equipment to maximize efficiency. Their equipment is also becoming larger, more powerful and more specialized.

The evolution in European farming represents a challenge to manufacturers of agricultural tires in keeping up with the pace of change. In addition, the biggest manufacturers have come under pressure in recent times due to the increasing viability and popularity of cheaper products from the east, especially India. Bridgestone will hope its new multi-brand strategy will allow it to respond better to the challenge with a target-oriented product portfolio designed to meet the needs of all players in the agricultural sector. (Tyres & Accessories)

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