Bridgestone, the largest manufacturer of tyres in the world, is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. In India Bridgestone has presence as Bridgestone India Private Limited and has a substantial market share in the passenger car replacement tyre segment. It has a passenger car tyre manufacturing unit in Indore in Madhya Pradesh and plans for a second manufacturing unit in Pune, Maharashtra are underway. The Indore plant, established in 1996, began production of passenger car radial tyres in 1998 and employs approximately 1200 members of staff.
With India’s economic growth and development of infrastructure in the last few years, the demand for tyres has increased manifold. India is considered to be one of the most important markets for radial tyres. With the development of roads, the transport industry has seen a tremendous growth. To capitalize on the boom of radial tyres for passenger cars as well as bus and trucks radials, Bridgestone India announced plans to set up another manufacturing unit in Pune to meet the rising demands. At first, Bridgestone had planned an investment of approximately INR 2500 Crores for the plant which was slated to start production of truck and bus radial tyres by 2013. Once established, the capacity of the new plant was set to be at 10000 units a day by 2020. Keeping in view the high demand and the huge market for radial tyres, Bridgestone announced its plans to increase the production capacity sooner than the stipulated time of 2020 which would require an additional investment of INR 2000 Crores.
Bridgestone India also has plans to open concept stores across the country. The customer friendly stores have the entire range of products and services provided by Bridgestone and offer the customer a new buying experience. With the concept stores, Bridgestone hopes to establish its brand in India and attract more customers by making its products more accessible. Bridgestone India also plans to expand its dealer network in order to gain more market share.
With the global meltdown having little or no negative effects on the Indian market, Bridgestone India is eyeing a 33 percent share in the domestic tyre market. However, it is up against stiff competition from Indian tyre majors such as Apollo, JK Tyres, MRF etc as well as other leading international tyre manufacturers such as Michelin, Goodyear and Continental. Since Bridgestone India started production of truck and bus radials in May in its Indore plant, it has been successfully able to capture five per cent of the radial tyre market in the replacement sector. The largest tyre manufacturer in the world, Bridgestone India hopes to increase its market share to 15 per cent in the next five years.
Bridgestone has a range of products for the Indian market including Turanza, Potenza Series and the most popular B & S series of tyres. Recently, the company launched its eco-friendly innovative ECOPIA tyres. The tyres would provide lesser rolling resistance and save on fuel by about 2-3 percent. Bridgestone has been dedicated to its core philosophy of developing eco-friendly, safe and reliable products and has been constantly endeavouring to achieve its goals through various technological innovations in tyre manufacturing. It is this type of foresight and pioneering outlook that has led the company to become the largest tyre manufacturer in the world.