Bridgestone has revealed its plan to increase the prominence of its Firestone brand in the UK passenger car tire market during summer 2014. The manufacturer says its marketing drive will link the Firestone badge explicitly to its lengthy history in motorsport, and Bridgestone is hoping that this renewed effort will put its mid-range brand in a position to offer a compelling proposition to motorists and dealers alongside Bridgestone’s premium offering. In addition, the company will launch the new Firestone Destination 4×4 tire in June to coincide with the concerted effort to increase awareness and sales through a variety of campaigns.
Firestone’s north region communications manager Andy Dingley said: “We see our Firestone offering as playing a pivotal role for us in 2014.
“The brand is powerful, endearing and we believe it can become one of the main players in the tire market.
“There is a great sense of heritage associated with Firestone and from our research, we know that it is steeped in tradition and respect, with an association with genuine quality.
“We really do feel that we can offer motorists a product to be sure of, which will complement our premium Bridgestone range perfectly.”
Inspired by Jim Clark and John Surtees Firestone has an historic association with the Indy 500 and a clutch of world land speed records. The Indy 500 was part of the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship between 1950 and 1960, and every race in this period was supplied with Firestone tires.
The first non-Indy Formula One race win for Firestone was by Ferrari driver Ludovico Scarfiotti at Monza in the 1966 Italian Grand Prix. In all, a total of 49 races were won on Firestone tires, with drivers such as Clark, Surtees, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti all taking the top step thanks to their Firestones.
The final victory was in the 1972 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where Fittipaldi won for Lotus, en route to becoming the then youngest-ever Formula One World Champion. Art Arfon’s world land speed records on his ‘Green Monster’ in the 1960s, which was fitted with Firestones.
The Firestone badge will also play a prominent part in the company’s marketing efforts, Dingley added. “This year promises to be an extremely exciting one for Firestone, with a new 4×4 tire set to be revealed in June and eye-catching marketing campaigns, created around a number of historic sponsorships and sporting associations.”
“The big positive we already boast is the fact that Firestone is already widely recognized as a leading tire brand in the UK.
“We are in a great position to enjoy a successful 2014, and we feel we have good reason to be optimistic.” (Tyres & Accessories)