Careers at Bridgestone Corporation
Bridgestone Corp (“Bridgestone”) seeks to produce and distribute tyre products that are reliable, safe, and efficient to vehicle manufacturers around the world.
In 1931, Japanese businessman Shojiro Ishibashi (“Ishibashi”) established Bridgestone Tire Company Limited, anticipating the rise of the passenger car across the world and identifying the future need for replaceable tyres. Ishibashi used an English translation of his surname as the name of the company. Bridgestone quickly grew to become the largest manufacturer of tyres in Japan, developing a number of production and administration facilities across the country.
In 1961, the company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, shortly following which it reformed its administration and management structure. Bridgestone continued to expand its operations internationally, notably acquiring a tyre plant in Tennessee from US-based tyre manufacturer The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Bridgestone later acquired The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in its entirety in 1988, making the newly merged entity one of the world's largest tyre and rubber companies.
Business model of Bridgestone Corporation
Bridgestone has a core strategy of providing tyre and rubber products to vehicle manufacturers around the world. Bridgestone’s core customer segments are:
- Automotive Industry, including manufacturers of cars and motorbikes;
- Mining and Construction Industry, including specialist manufacturers of mining and construction equipment and vehicles;
- Agriculture Industry, including manufacturers of specialist agricultural equipment and vehicles;
- Aviation Industry, including manufacturers of aeroplanes and other aviation-specific vehicles and equipment; and
- Fleet Management Companies, including companies that manage large fleets of passenger vehicles, such as car rental firms and taxi operators.
Bridgestone serves an international customer base spanning more than 150 countries worldwide. According to its annual report, the Americas accounts for the largest portion of its annual sales, followed by Japan. The company also serves customers across Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.
Bridgestone provides value to its customers in the following ways:
- Quality Products – Bridgestone has a proven track record for providing high-quality tyre and rubber products to a number of high-profile customers. It is also at the leading edge of technology and innovation in the tyre manufacturing industry;
- Reliability and Safety – Bridgestone employs a series of safety measures and testing processes to ensure that its products are reliable and safe;
- International Reach and Accessibility – Bridgestone maintains a presence across Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, making its products easily accessible for customers across all industries and jurisdictions; and
- Reputation and Brand Recognition – Bridgestone is among the best known rubber and tyre manufacturers in the world, having built a strong reputation for providing high-quality products and services.
Bridgestone sells its core tyre products primarily through a network of service centres and sales outlets, including third-party retailers, located across Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The company also supplies larger corporate customers with tyres and other products directly under supply contracts. These deals are arranged through Bridgestone’s sales teams.
In addition to its tyre products, Bridgestone also sells a range of other rubber products through its Diversified Products Business. This principally comprises direct sales of products to original equipment manufacturers via the business group’s specialised sales team.
General consumers are able to purchase Bridgestone tyres from the company’s various service centres and sales outlets. At these facilities, customers can seek advice from Bridgestone employees and third-party professionals regarding the products and their maintenance.
Bridgestone seeks to establish longstanding relationships with corporate customers, providing tyre products on a long-term basis to car manufacturers, fleet management companies, and other automotive businesses. These relationships are maintained directly by the company’s customer relationships management personnel, who work closely with employees from their customer companies. Bridgestone provides these larger corporate customers with a more tailored service that addresses the specific requirements of each individual customer.
Online, customers are able to contact Bridgestone’s sales and support teams directly via a contact form hosted on Bridgestone’s website. These contact forms allow customers to reach Bridgestone personnel located in the relevant geographic region.
Bridgestone additionally maintains a relationship with its customers through a community portal on its website, which includes news updates and safety information, as well as through its various social media accounts – including with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – through which the company is able to interact with consumers directly.
Bridgestone is engaged in the development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of tyres and other rubber products. The company organises its operations into two reportable business segment: Tyres, which comprises the company’s development and sale of tyres for passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, construction and mining vehicles, aircraft, and motorcycles, as well as tubes, wheels and related accessories; and Diversified Products, which comprises the company’s development and sale of other products, including chemical products, industrial products, automotive components, construction materials, electronic equipment, sporting goods, and bicycles. Bridgestone’s Tyres segment additionally includes its re-treading business, and its automotive maintenance services business. Bridgestone operates a network of more than 170 manufacturing plants in approximately 30 countries around the world, and sells products in over 150 markets around the world.
Bridgestone works closely with a network of partner companies and organisations that help to ensure that the company’s products are high-quality and have an effective sales reach. The company’s partners include:
- Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of tools, equipment, and materials for the production of its products, as well as third-party providers of services and solutions;
- Technology and Manufacturing Partners, comprising technology companies that provide the company with products or services that support the company’s development and production processes;
- Sales and Distribution Partners, comprising various third-party retailers and automotive service providers that help to extend Bridgestone’s sales reach, particularly in countries where the company does not maintain a significant presence of its own;
- Sponsorship and Marketing Partners, comprising various corporations, events, and sports teams, with which the collaborates or provides funding in return for increased visibility among potential clients; and
- Strategic Partners, comprising various companies and organisations with which Bridgestone collaborates on marketing, community, and other projects around the world.
Bridgestone has established several high-profile partnerships in recent years. The company has notably been announced as a Worldwide Olympic Partner and a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Gold Partner, and is a sponsorship partner of the Toyota Formula 1 team.
Bridgestone’s key resources are its materials and supply chain, its technologies and intellectual properties, its manufacturing facilities, its sales and distribution network, its personnel, and its IT and communications infrastructure. The company and its subsidiaries are notably listed as applicants and assignees in a number of patents registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. These patent applications generally relate to designs for tyres and other rubber components.
Bridgestone owns and or leases a network of offices and production facilities around the world that are key in the production of its core products. This includes more than 170 manufacturing plants worldwide.
Bridgestone incurs costs primarily in relation to the development of its technologies, the acquisition of materials and manufacturing equipment, and the operation of its production facilities. For 2017, the company’s research and development costs notably totalled more than USD 883 million. The company also incurs costs in relation to the management of its partnerships, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, and the operation of its sales and distribution network.
Bridgestone generates revenue through the sale of tyre and other rubber products to companies and consumers around the world. In 2017, the company recorded net sales of more than USD 32 billion. The company’s Tyre Business accounted for around 83% of its total sales for the year – most of which came from outside of Japan – with the company’s Diversified Products Business accounting for the remaining 13%.
info: Masaaki Tsuya (“Tsuya”) has served as Chief Executive Officer of Bridgestone since March 2012 and has been its Representative Executive Officer since March 2016. He is responsible for leading the company’s overall strategic direction. Tsuya also serves as a director of Inoue Rubber Vietnam Company Ltd. Tsuya has previously held a series of senior executive positions at Bridgestone, including spells as Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Human Rights Officer, Chief Risk-Management Officer, Vice President and Senior Officer, Director of Internal Auditing Office, and Chairman of Bridgestone Americas Inc. He is also a former director of Inoue Rubber Thailand Public Company Ltd.
info: Kazuhisa Nishigai (“Nishigai”) has served as Bridgestone’s Chief Operating Officer since 2012 and has been its Representative Executive Officer since March 2016. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of Bridgestone. Nishigai has additionally served as Chief Technology Officer at Bridgestone since August 2015. Nishigai has previously held a number of executive positions at Nishigai, including spells as Senior Vice President, Corporate Officer, Vice President and Senior Officer, and Vice President of Tire Production and Distribution.
info: Gordon Knapp (“Knapp”) has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Bridgestone Americas Inc since September 2016. He is responsible for leading the strategic direction of Bridgestone’s US subsidiary Bridgestone Americas Inc. Knapp has additionally served as Senior Vice President and Executive Officer at Bridgestone since 2018 , having previously served as its Vice President and Senior Officer from September 2014. Knapp has previously held a number of senior position at Bridgestone in the US, including spells as Chief Operating Officer of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC, Chief Operating Officer of Bridgestone Americas Inc, President of Consumer Tire US and Canada at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC of Bridgestone Americas, and Chief Operating Officer of BSAM of Bridgestone Corporation.
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