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Bridgestone set to raise tire prices (again) on April 1st

No April Fool’s joke here – Bridgestone has announced that it will raise prices on wholesale tires yet again on April 1st, 2011. In an announcement, Bridgestone blamed “unprecdented” increases in raw materials and transportation costs. The 8% price hike will affect consumer replacement tires and original equipment tires in the U.S. and Canada.

“While we are always working to balance costs and deliver a premium package of value to our customers, these extraordinary increases in costs related to manufacturing make these price adjustments necessary,” says Larry Magee, BATO’s U.S. and Canada consumer tire president.

Bridgestone last raised prices on its wholesale Bridgestone tires on November 1st. That was also an 8% hike, but only affected U.S. markets.

What does this mean for businesses and consumers? Well, if you were in the market for Bridgestone tires, make sure to buy them as soon as possible. And if you’re an automotive business or tire retailer, make sure to stock up on popular wholesale Bridgestone tires before this hike has a chance to chip away at your profit margin!

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Tire News

Bridgestone announces 5% price increase

Hot on the heels of our last post, Why Tire Prices Are on the Rise, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation validated the consensus opinion with a 5% price increase on wholesale Bridgestone tires, wholesale Firestone tires, and other associate brands effective January 1st. Like other major manufacturers who have made similar moves, BATO cited the rising cost of raw materials as the main reason behind the price hike.

Michael Gorey, president, U.S. & Consumer Tire, BATO, had this to say: “While we are successfully implementing measures at all levels of our company to enhance our efficiencies and increase our productivity, those efforts are simply not enough to overcome the escalation of raw materials costs.”

Both original equipment tires and replacement tires will be affected.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Tire News,

Bridgestone to close plants in New Zealand and Australia

Bridgestone has announced it will close two of its tire manufacturing plants - one in Australia and one in New Zealand.

Bridgestone has announced it will close two of its tire manufacturing plants - one in Australia and one in New Zealand.

In a sign that does not bode well for economic recovery among the tire and automobile industries, Bridgestone Corp. announced today plans to terminate operations at two of its tire manufacturing plants in Australia and New Zealand. The affected plants will be phased out by the middle of next year, taking 875 jobs with them. 600 of those jobs will come from the Bridgestone Adelaide plant in south Australia which has been in operation since 1965.

“We have worked hard over many years to avoid today’s decision,” senior executive director Andrew Moffatt said in a statement. “However, the unfortunate reality is that Bridgestone Australia can no longer commercially justify the continued operation of these facilities.”

Moffatt regretted the fact that the manufacturer was no longer able to compete internationally, but assured affected workers that plans were in place to assist them with finding new employment. This news only affects Bridgestone’s manufacturing plant in Adelaide – not the 1500 jobs held in its Adelaide headquarters. Distribution, customer service, and retail networks will not be affected.

The Adelaide plant primarily manufactured light and medium truck tires, while the New Zealand plant produced light truck tires.

Bridgestone thanked the community and is in talks with the government to re-gift some of the land they own back to the citizens in the area.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Tire News, , ,

Which tire manufacturers will be affected by GM’s summer plant closures?

GM's recently announced plant closures are not a good sign for the tire industry's top manufacturers.

GM's recently announced plant closures are not a good sign for the tire industry's top manufacturers.

By now you’ve probably heard that GM has decided to idle its U.S. plants for 9 weeks during the summer in a desperate effort to cut costs and stay afloat. In addition to these temporary closures, GM also announced the permanent closures of 16 of their assembly plants by 2012. The Pontiac brand is also on its way out. These measures reflect the state of the economic situation, the state of the auto industry, and illustrate the future of some of the tire industry’s biggest manufacturers. After all, all of those plants have been using a fair amount of original equipment tires that will soon no longer be needed. So which manufacturers are going to be affected?

According to Modern Tire Dealer, the affected GM plants receives 38% of its OE light vehicle tires from Goodyear. After Goodyear, a 31% chunk comes in from Bridgestone, split 18%/15% between Bridgestone and Firestone lines. Continental is next with a 14% share, and the list is rounded out by Michelin, BFGoodrich, Hankook,  and Pirelli. It will be interesting to see how the GM plant closures and the elimination of the Pontiac brand affect the tire industry, but suffice to say, it won’t be in a positive way. With manufacturers already struggling with stagnating demand, it looks to be a tough summer for the world’s top tire companies.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Michellin Tires, Tire News, , , ,

New Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Performance Tire

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Performance Tire

The newly announced Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 performance tire is the latest in a series of innovative street/track hybrid radials released by major tire manufacturers. The new Potenza model features “stealth” block technology originally developed for Formula One rain tires. The blocks are specially engineered to improve water evacuation and handling on wet surfaces. The tire also features special grooves cut around the circumference of the tire which help drivers avoid hydroplaning in poor weather.

The Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 is aimed at sports cars such as the Nissan 350Z and BMW 3-series, though it will come in 31 different sizes. For more information on available sizing, check with your local tire distributor.

“The RE-11 offers consumers a product that will perform well both on the street and on the track,” says Phil Pacsi, vice president, consumer marketing, U.S. and Canada Consumer Tire Sales Division, BATO.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Tire News, , ,

Bridgestone Announces New Eco-Friendly Tire – Ecopia EP100

eco-friendly-tire-ecopia-ep100

Tires with low rolling resistance seem to be all the rage these days. Another major manufacturer, this time Bridgestone, has just introduced a new eco-friendly tire to their lineup: the Ecopia EP100. So what exactly does “low rolling resistance” mean? Basically it’s a fancy term for a tire that’s engineered to require less energy to start spinning and keep spinning. Low rolling resistance is accomplished with a combination of tire weight, tread compound chemistry, and tread pattern aerodynamics. Remember that most OE tires aren’t designed with gas mileage in mind, but instead, all-around performance to please the highest number of customers.

The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 is built to provide low rolling resistance and a quiet ride without sacrificing wet road handling traction, which can sometimes be an issue when treads are designed for optimized gas mileage. For drivers concerned primarily with getting the most out of their fuel dollars, low rolling resistance tires could be a worthwhile investment. Expect to see more manufacturers hopping onto the eco-friendly tire bandwagon in the coming months.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Eco-friendly Tires, , , ,