Miguel Pacheco Ancona
Country Manager Latin America North
Bridgestone
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Sustainability, Mobility Are Priorities for Bridgestone

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 13:30

Q: How is Bridgestone continuously innovating in sustainability?

A: Innovation at Bridgestone starts with technology. We are increasing our investment to provide clients with sustainable products. From 2022 to 2050, Bridgestone will continue working as a sustainable solutions provider. The company’s vision encompasses energy, ecology, efficiency, extension, economy, emotion, ease and empowerment to bring a different perspective to each part of the business. We are not just about selling tires; we want to provide sustainable mobility solutions.

Q: Given the ongoing pressure on logistics, what strategies has Bridgestone implemented in the heavy-vehicle market?

A: The heavy-vehicle market is growing. Our strategy is to differentiate our products and services through mobility, as Bridgestone is leading the revolution in mobility. We are improving mobility to make it smarter, safer, more accessible and sustainable.

Bridgestone’s strategies are divided in two. The first are core solutions, which involve our tires directly through new programs to develop sophisticated new technologies. The second are mobility solutions that are separate from our tires. We create value by leveraging multiple data platforms to create connected solutions as a part of the global mobility ecosystem. Measuring is crucial. It helps us to improve our tires according to client needs and recycle old tires and reuse them.

Q: What is WebFleet and how does Bridgestone leverage technology to offer comprehensive fleet management solutions?

A: WebFleet is an innovative fleet management solution for customers. It measures and quantifies everything related to the heavy truck, bus or commercial vehicle, not only tires. WebFleet’s purpose promotes a better, safer way to transport goods through telemetry, while measuring and quantifying data for clients to increase efficiency and maximize profits.

Bridgestone is always working on WebFleet to innovate the service, offering new structures, methodologies and technologies. Although telemetry is not new, we are innovating by using it as a global concept for smart fleet management. From tires to comprehensive solutions, Bridgestone provides the best solutions to make better decisions.

Q: What is the expected demand for high-performance tires in the Mexican market?

A: Mexico has a great mix of products. Over the past few years, SUVs have grown exponentially in popularity. Bridgestone develops and manufactures a wide variety of tires from different categories, including high-performance tires. Currently, low-rim diameter tire demand is decreasing in the Mexican market, while high-rim diameter tire demand is increasing.

Mexican clients are consuming better cars. At the same time, materials are changing and new technologies are arriving, helping Bridgestone to grow its high-performance tires sales, which have shown double-digit growth.

Q: How have Bridgestone’s manufacturing operations performed over the past challenging years?

A: The Mexican workforce is great. It can innovate while adapting to several challenges. Bridgestone executed a large vaccination campaign at its facilities in Cuernavaca, helping the plant to continue operations in the safest possible environment. By 2021, we had already completely recovered our production figures.

Thanks to our great planners, we carried out several strategies to secure raw materials during this global supply chain crisis. Bridgestone has constantly invested in Mexico, showing the confidence that the company has in both the country and its workforce, which has the necessary energy and knowledge to overcome challenges.

Q: How is Bridgestone investing and pushing its R&D global operations?

A: Innovation is a key part of our global strategy. Both in the OE and aftersales markets, the company works and invests heavily to develop new and sustainable products and technologies. The strategy includes R&D centers across the world to innovate in products directed to specific regions. For example, our main headquarters in Japan focuses on solutions for that region.

A great deal of investment is being put into mobility solutions, which are at the core of Bridgestone’s new strategies. WebFleet was born in the EU but it is now part of our global strategy.

Q: What are Bridgestone’s main objectives and goals for the Mexican and Northern Latin America market in 2H22?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting Mexico and the world, so Bridgestone’s first goal is to keep our people safe. Our commitment to sustainability will remain a top priority during 2H22. We have grown over 10 percent in the replacement market. However, this growth is part of the balance: when OEMs reduce new vehicle production and sales, the replacement market grows jointly with second-hand vehicle sales.

The global and US macroeconomic scenario is difficult to predict. Inflation is worrying but remittances continue to arrive in Mexico. The company will remain cautious in 2H22 given the macroeconomic scenario. While we reinforce the values and pillars of safety and sustainability, we expect to continue growing our sales in the coming months.

 

The Bridgestone Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of tires for passenger cars, trucks, buses, aircraft, construction equipment, mining vehicles and motorcycles. In Mexico, Bridgestone operates two tire manufacturing plants, in Cuernavaca and Monterrey.

Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst