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Bridgestone steps up investment in winter tyre development

Feb, 29 2012

Bridgestone steps up investment in winter tyre development

Winter tyres lie at the heart of Bridgestone’s strategy, offering motorists the promise of safety and reliable performance in all types of winter conditions.

Winter tyres lie at the heart of Bridgestone’s strategy, offering motorists the promise of safety and reliable performance in all types of winter conditions. Bridgestone’s focus on winter tyres, with heavy investment in testing and development, springs from the company’s commitment to present customers with products that provide safety and reassurance in all conditions and at all times.

In order to extend the range of its winter offer and develop future generations of winter tyres, Bridgestone Europe invested in new testing facilities and equipment at the Swedish Proving Ground (SPG) established since 2009.

Exceptionally strong growth in winter tyre demand in Europe since 2008 has provided Bridgestone with additional incentives to invest in winter tyre development. Public awareness of the safety benefits of winter tyres is growing strongly in all European countries. Two market factors have accompanied this growth: legislation and unusually cold, snowy weather in 2009 and 2010.

Key drivers
Various countries have adopted legislation (Italy, Romania) or strengthened existing winter tyre laws (Germany, Czech) in recent years, while others are discussing its introduction (France, Belgium). All European countries require either that winter tyres are fitted under certain conditions or that motorists use equipment “appropriate to conditions”.
Car leasing companies and insurers have added weight to the argument for changing to winter tyres.
These government initiatives have however not only been initiated due to safety concerns.
Indeed an additional major driver is the risk of reduced mobility and cost to society stemming from the risk of vehicles and trucks being blocked on motorways for extended periods of time.

Harsh winter conditions in 2009 and 2010 triggered an explosion of winter tyre demand in Europe. Sales in western and central regions of Europe increased 42% between 2007 and 2011 and have now reached 38% of total car tyre sales in the whole European region. Demand increased by 20% in 2010 alone, with Bridgestone sales growth exceeding the market rate. Traditionally mild-winter countries, such as the UK, Ireland and the Low Countries, experienced unprecedented sales increases.

Full Blizzak range
Today the new Bridgestone range of Blizzak winter tyres offer motorists a safe and reliable solution throughout the cold season, wherever they are on European roads. In central Europe a lamellen tyre such as the Blizzak Lamellen family (LM-30, LM-32) is advisable; while in Nordic regions with harsh winters a studded Noranza 2 EVO or Multicell Blizzak WS70 is the way to go.
Whereas, the new A001 All Weather may be the right choice for areas with a mild climate.

Through testing and development at the new Swedish Proving Ground, Bridgestone aims to continually improve its winter tyre technology and update the Blizzak line-up.

Bridgestone offers the consumer a safe and appropriate winter solution, wherever he may be in Europe.