Behind the wheel with Laurent Dartoux The future of mobility

Nov 25 2018

View of a road in the night

In an ever-changing industry, Bridgestone is moving from its roots as a premium tyre manufacturer to a mobility solutions leader. One of the pioneers behind the scenes is the Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer at Bridgestone EMEA, Laurent Dartoux. We spoke with Dartoux to learn more about his role, the current projects he’s working on and how Bridgestone is already incorporating the latest innovations to spearhead change in the industry.

Tell us about your role at Bridgestone?

I’m the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer (CSMO) for Bridgestone EMEA. Currently, our company is transitioning from a premium tyre manufacturer to a mobility solutions provider. As CSMO, my job is to help steer that course. In particular, I oversee the development of all our new products and solutions, help build strategic partnerships, and lead the marketing of our brands. It’s the transformation that makes it a really exciting time to work at Bridgestone.

A picture of Laurent Dartoux, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer at Bridgestone EMEA

You just mentioned the organisation’s transformation. Why is this necessary for Bridgestone?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. The world is changing very quickly, with megatrends such as rapid population growth and urbanisation forcing all of us to rethink how we do things-- and how we move around.

The car industry responded by developing connected and autonomous cars, ""shared"" mobility and electric vehicles. Because we partner with carmakers, dealers and fleets, we are responding, in turn, by pioneering digital applications and solutions that add value to the future of mobility and their business. But to do all that, our business must transform itself. It’s a time of change, but also a massive opportunity.

Let’s get specific: What has Bridgestone achieved this year as part of the transformation?

In 2018, Bridgestone launched several digital solutions. Bridgestone Connect is a great example of how we are expanding what we offer to everyday drivers.

It’s a predictive maintenance solution that monitors the health of a vehicle in real-time and flags any issues to the diver through a smartphone app. Another great example is Mobox, a monthly subscription service for premium tyres and vehicle services. And then for our commercial offering, we also launched FleetPulse in 2018. It’s a three-in-one solution to tackle vehicle downtime in fleet operations.

MOBOX logo in garage environment.

We’ve also invested heavily in our Digital Garage. Led by a team of data scientists, analysts and engineers, the Digital Garage is where we combine digital technologies like the Internet of Things, with data-driven insights to go far beyond tyres. It's amazing to see what’s being done as the business combines its more traditional skills in engineering with newer ones in digital.

Are Bridgestone’s premium tyres changing to meet the future mobility?

Very much so-- let me give you an example. We know electric vehicles are the future. Electric vehicles have different needs then combustion engine vehicles when it comes to tyres. We need to reduce the rolling resistance of the tyre significantly, otherwise it may overuse the battery. When we worked with BMW to develop our ologic tyres for the BMW i3, we created them with larger diameters and narrower treads to achieve that result.

The BMW i3s uses the new Bridgestone ologic technology

What’s your main thought as we close 2018?

Well-- it definitely hasn’t been quiet--we accomplished a lot. But I was thinking just recently how everyone in our business has at some time and in some way supported our transformation. So, I want to close the year with a simple "Thank you." Thank you to everyone across the business who contributed to this amazing year. 2019 will be even better, I know it!

Want to know more about the latest Bridgestone innovations and mobility solutions? Check out our work here.