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Bridgestone Ramps Up $5.38 Billion Investment in EV and Mining Tires, Decarbonization

Japanese Manufacturer to Expand Specialty Tire Range, Targeting Electric Vehicles and Mining Sector Growth
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Bridgestone, a global leader in tire manufacturing, has unveiled a robust investment strategy, earmarking approximately 800 billion yen ($5.38 billion) for the next three years through 2026. This substantial financial commitment represents a pivot towards the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market and the mining equipment sector, coupled with a strong emphasis on decarbonization technologies.

This investment surge, a significant step up from the preceding period’s 570 billion yen, is a strategic response to the rapidly evolving demands of the automotive industry. Bridgestone aims to expand its heavy-duty tire portfolio, with a particular focus on EVs, increasing its product range to around 50 offerings by December 2026.

Acknowledging the unique demands placed on tires by EVs, such as increased strain due to rapid acceleration and heavier battery loads, Bridgestone is intensifying its efforts in high-performance tire production. Additionally, the company is looking to strengthen its foothold in the mining equipment tire market, a sector known for high profit margins, by developing more durable, wear-resistant tires.

In a market increasingly dominated by low-cost tire production from Chinese and South Korean competitors, Bridgestone is strategically positioning itself to focus on premium, higher-end products. This involves significant investments across its manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, aiming to offer unique, competitively priced products.

Under the leadership of CEO Shuichi Ishibashi, Bridgestone is not just concentrating on cost reduction but also on innovation and adding new value to its products. A key part of this strategy includes the development of carbon-neutral technologies and exploring collaborations with digital startups, as well as potential acquisitions to bolster the company’s competitive edge.

Currently holding a 14.2% share of the global tire market, second only to Michelin, Bridgestone anticipates a 12% rise in net profit for 2023, reaching 335 billion yen, and a modest 1% increase in revenue to 4.15 trillion yen. Amidst cooling economic conditions, particularly in Europe, the company acknowledges the critical role of increasing the average price of its tires to ensure long-term success and stability.

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