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Bridgestone: ECOPIA EP100S Fuel-Efficient Tire


Bridgestone is a world-leading manufacturer specializing in tires. The beginnings of Bridgestone date back to 1930, when the Tire Division of Japan Tabi, a company manufacturing rubber-soled socks, manufactured the first ever made-in-Japan tire (today, that Tire Division lives on as part of Asahi Corporation). That tire division later became independent from the Asahi Corporation, going through a number of transitions before eventually becoming Bridgestone as it is known today.

Bridgestone is now the world’s leading manufacturer of tires, having overtaken Michelin and Goodyear in 2005. It also acquired Firestone, America’s leading tire manufacturer, and integrated it into Bridgestone as a subsidiary. Today, that subsidiary is the number one company in the American tire manufacturing market. In Japan, there are a number of competitors to Bridgestone, such as Dunlop and Yokohama Tires, but none come close to reaching the production and sales figures recorded by Bridgestone.

So what is the secret to Bridgestone’s success? This doubtless lies in the corporation’s core philosophy of continually striving for improvement and greater achievements in the face of the problems that tire manufacturers face, namely treadwear, durability, and safety. Bridgestone has an impressive record of product development, made possible by its constant efforts to improve and enhance in-house technology. Activities such as its participation in international motor racing tournaments, including Formula 1 racing (until 2010) and the IndyCar Series in the US, have been key to this and have led to such impressive achievements as being the sole tires provider at international tournaments.

Bridgestone currently has a total of 184 factories in 25 countries. The diverse range of tires produced by Bridgestone includes those for passenger cars, motorcycles, and numerous other vehicle types. In recent years, the company has been focused on the development of new tire technologies and new tire types in response to changing global economic and environmental circumstances, such as fuel-efficient tires and studless tires.

Additionally, the company offers an extensive range of tires for two wheel vehicles.

The ECOPIA EP100S is a brand new fuel-efficient tire with the following three notable features.
1. Has 39% less rolling resistance than a conventional Bridgestone tire
2. Maintains the reliable wet handling of a conventional Bridgestone tire
3. Designed to have a wear life that matches the reducing rolling resistance
These three features ensure that the rolling resistance of the ECOPIA EP100S is less than that of conventional tires, allowing better gas mileage. These tires promise to contribute to efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In recent years, Bridgestone has been diversifying its business beyond tire manufacturing. It now has departments specializing in chemical and industrial products, automotive parts, polyurethane foam products, office machinery components, industrial materials, and construction timber. It has also extended into the field of sporting goods, including golf and tennis items.

Bridgestone Cycle is a Bridgestone subsidiary that specializes in bicycles. The spirit of innovation that allows Bridgestone to move beyond tire manufacturing and drives business expansion means that all eyes will be on Bridgestone in the future to see what its next move will be.

Bridgestone is also dedicated to carrying out its social corporation responsibility, for example operating the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan, through the Ishibashi Foundation established by the company’s founder Shojiro Ishibashi.

Aug 6, 2011

About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
(Bridgestone Corporation)