The global investments in Research & Development at Bridgestone are the highest in the industry, and so far the investment has paid off. In 2018, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) chose Bridgestone to provide over 120 new original equipment fitments, representing a more than 30 percent increase of fitments for the EMEA region. The fitments include more than 40 different models from 15 different manufacturers.
Bridgestone continues to serve as the primary OEM tyre supplier for Audi, SEAT, Skoda and The Volkswagen Group. The number of fitments for Audi doubled in the last five years, while Bridgestone expanded its choice of fitments as original equipment for the BMW 3-Series, the BMW 7-Series, BMW X5/X7 and BMW Z4. Vehicle manufacturers chose Bridgestone tyres for their original equipment fitments for a wide variety of models. These models include:
Bridgestone goes the extra mile when it comes to developing and designing tyres. The company works in synergy with manufacturers, accommodating their requests with imagination and creativity. The tyres are fine-tuned to specific vehicle designs to ensure every element of performance, which allows Bridgestone to respond to all sorts of challenges - ranging from rolling resistance and fuel consumption to noise reduction, driver comfort and drive behaviour - and incorporate appropriately targeted technologies into the tyres to achieve a specific improvement.
Bridgestone’s tailored approach allows the company to optimise the unique character of any vehicle.Mark Tejedor , Vice President of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA
Bridgestone always pushes standards higher in the area of technology with solutions such as B-Silent, ologic and the improved Run-Flat Technology (RFT). For example, both Lexus and Mercedes-Benz wanted to offer their drivers extra security if a driver faces a blowout or punctured tyre. Bridgestone accommodated this request by incorporating RFT into the Turanza T005. For the Ferrari Portofino, Bridgestone also integrated RFT to the Potenza S007 to combine high G cornering with high-speed durability to match the Portofino’s sporty handling.
In another case, Audi and Opel were looking to reduce in-vehicle noise and increase comfort. Bridgestone achieved this by filling cavities with sound-absorbing materials and making various other adjustments using proprietary B-Silent Technology; a feature that is now available for the new Audi A6, A7 and Opel Insignia.
Bridgestone also makes OEM tyres that cater to general demands, such as superior road handling. By creating advanced tread patterns, strengthening the side walls of tyre carcasses and using proprietary NanoPro-Tech silica-mixing technology, Bridgestone’s OEM tyres achieve exceptional road handling while minimising wear to extend tyre life.
In some cases, OEM tyres require more than just fine-tuning. BMW, for example, needed a completely different tyre concept for their electric vehicles. Bridgestone responded with logic technology and an in-house tyre designed specifically for electric cars to optimise vehicle performance and safety, as shown with the all-new BMW i3s.
Porsche approached Bridgestone to produce an OEM tyre that could achieve dry handling targets for the new Cayenne range. To do this, Bridgestone created a unique high silica compound that delivers on dry-weather performance targets. The 21-inch Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport tyre is also best-in-class for wet handling – an incredible achievement for a tyre designed in a sports context – ensuring drivers keep control and stay safe even in wet conditions.
According to Mark Tejedor, Vice President of Original Equipment at Bridgestone EMEA,
“Bridgestone’s tailored approach allows the company to optimise the unique character of any vehicle. In an industry in rapid transformation, where vehicles are becoming more and more connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE), Bridgestone delivers new solutions and technologies answering car manufacturer’s most demanding challenges. The tyres we are developing today are aimed at meeting needs for the next two to five years and far beyond.”
Partnerships and co-creation have resulted in more than tailored designs.“It’s enabled us to take a step in a new direction that leads decisively into the future,’ explains Tejedor. “We are creating new tyres as well as mobility solutions and services that are more efficient and better adapted to vehicles and new automotive developments than ever before. By doing this, we will keep drivers going, no matter what.
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