Bridgestone Europe announced that it will introduce the Ecopia EP001S, an “A/A”-rated tyre on 1st October 2012, with top A grades on both fuel efficiency and wet grip. It is also one of the first products in the industry to achieve the top label grading both in Europe and in Japan. The EP001S, latest member of the fuel-efficient Ecopia range, will be officially presented at this September’s Paris Motor Show and effectively introduced in the European market as of October 2012.
Bridgestone Europe has also announced that the majority of passenger car tyres for sale in the European Union which are produced after 1st July 2012 will start carrying the new EU label. By 1st November, all tyres marketed in Europe will be compliant with labelling as defined by the European Tyre Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009.
Consumer and dealer education
In preparation for this change, Bridgestone has been working with its tyre dealer network across the EU and sourcing it with practical tool kits and educational material in the form of leaflets and posters explaining the EU label to consumers. To complete consumer awareness and education, the new tyre labelling programme is explained fully on the Bridgestone Europe website: www.bridgestone.eu
Only part of the quality story
Bridgestone consumer communication material also presents the company’s position on the EU tyre labelling issue. As consistently stated, Bridgestone supports the EU initiative because it helps consumers make a more informed purchasing decision. But Bridgestone reiterates that the performance criteria on new EU labels (fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise) are only three of the important tyre performance factors. Not only are we fully compliant with EU tyre labelling regulation, we have also obtained top results in the gradings. However, we do not stop there since our development also considers other key parameters for safety and comfort such as dry braking, stability, wear resistance, durability and mileage, for summer tyres. For winter tyres, added to the above criteria, are handling and breaking on snow and ice.
“Bridgestone is committed to providing consumers with quality tyres which guarantee our customers’ safety while meeting their driving expectations and needs, supporting ‘Your Journey’ with ‘Our Passion’. New EU tyre labelling is a positive move towards high level categorization of tyres sold in Europe” says Franco Annunziato, CEO and President, Bridgestone Europe.
This balanced all-round approach to tyre performance is not only illustrated by the Bridgestone Ecopia family.
The Turanza family – particularly the T001, the latest addition to the touring tyre line-up – with its state-of-the-art construction and innovative tread design achieves synergy between safety, stability and fuel efficiency.
The Blizzak family guarantees safety under the toughest winter conditions offering outstanding grip, stability and braking response on frozen roads, snow and ice, and in the wet.
No performance trade-offs
It is also important for consumers to know that when comparing tyres, certain performance characteristics are in direct conflict with others. There is for example traditionally a strong trade-off between wet grip, which requires more rubber friction on the road, and fuel efficiency which is dependent on lower rolling friction.
“Thanks to its advanced technologies – such as NanoPro-Tech™ – Bridgestone has been able to bridge such trade-offs and develop a tyre that achieves A/A rating under new EU tyre label regulations” continues CEO Annunziato. “We are extremely proud that Bridgestone is one of the first announcing and introducing to the European market an “A/A” tyre this year.”
Tyre inflation pressure is key
Bridgestone communication also points out that a decisive contribution to fuel efficiency and road safety – the objectives of this EU tyre labelling legislation – is made also by individual driver behaviour and tyre care, especially the maintenance of correct tyre inflation pressure. Indeed, based on our 2011 Tyre survey (46.000 cars checked in Europe) , 63% of motorists drive on under-inflated tyres and almost 20% have at least one tyre worn down below the EU legal minimum tread depth. The progressive loss of tyre pressure lowers tyre performance in all areas and can put safety at risk. For this reason Bridgestone will continue to promote tyre care, including the organization of consumer tyre-safety checks across Europe and the publication of results to help further educate customers.