Bridgestone Americas_Business Report FY2007

Business Highlights

Financial Overview
(in billion yen) FY2007 FY2006 Rate of Change (%)
Sales 1,510.7 1,333.5 13.3 -Within the tire business, the best-performing sectors were replacement tires for passenger cars and off-the-road tires for mining and construction equipment. Sales of radial tires for commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) were negatively affected by soft demand, especially in the original equipment sector. Reduced production of light trucks and SUVs within the US and Canada resulted in lower tire shipments to supply OEM contracts. However, the consumer replacement sector benefited from better brand and product mix resulting from an emphasis on strategic categories such as high-performance tires. Higher selling prices were another factor contributing to growth in sales revenue.
Operating income 51.5 42.0 22.6

*The above financial figures are based upon the consolidated business and financial results announced on Feb. 19, 2008, by Bridgestone Corporation, Tokyo. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, financial figures provided in this report is shown in Japanese Yen. Bridgestone Corporation mentioned in its report that the US dollar figures were calculated at US$1 = ツ・114.15.


-The Company has completed its $1.05 billion cash merger with Bandag, Incorporated (Bandag). The two companies entered into a merger agreement on Dec. 5, 2006, in which the Company committed to acquire the outstanding shares of each class of Bandag stock for US$50.75 per share. The closing occurred May 31, 2007. (From a press release on June 1, 2007)


-The Company's brand Turanza EL42 tires have been selected by Lexus as original equipment for the Company's all-new LS 600h L luxury hybrid sedan. (From a press release on Sep. 4, 2007)


(1) Location
The Corporate Research Center is located near Firestone Park on a scenic 15-acre campus in Akron, Ohio. The Center actively collaborates with the staff of the Company's other two technical centers located respectively in Tokyo and Rome. This tripolar framework of technical centers underlies the Group's global R&D programs in tires. In addition, a fourth large technical center, in Yokohama, spearheads its development work in diversified products.

(2) Outline
The center has the reputation of being one of the leading laboratories in the world in the field of polymers. It has a rich history and can look back at many accomplishments, among them:
-First "synthetic natural" polyisoprene rubber ("Coral rubber")
-Process for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) high-impact plastics
-Lithium-initiated, anionic, batch and continuous solution polymerization process for polybutadiene and styrene-butadiene rubber used in tires, plastics, and adhesives
-Polyphosphazene "semi-organic" elastomers for applications with low/high temperature and flame-resistant requirements
-Pioneering work on the radiation chemistry of elastomers leading to prevulcanization technology now used in the tire industry.
-Head-tail fictionalized elastomers from heteroatomic initiators for tires with improved wear and fuel economy.

The Company's scientist continue to work at the frontiers of catalysis, polymer science, and materials science to impart improved and unique performance characteristics to products made by the Company.

(3) BIRD
This is Bridgestone's revolutionary new tire production system and the world's first production system for tires that completely automates all stages of tire manufacturing, from the initial processing of materials up to final inspection of the finished tires. In addition to its ability to fully automate the tire production process, BIRD is also capable of producing several different types and sizes of tires simultaneously.

Investment Activities

Overseas Investments
-The Company celebrated the grand opening of the new BSMR tire manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on Nov. 7, 2007. With a production capacity of about 8,000 tires a day, the Monterrey plant has generated more than $200 million in investment to date. It is the first plant outside of Japan to use the new "BIRD (Bridgestone Innovative and Rational Development)", the world's first production system for tires that completely automates all stages of tire manufacturing, from the initial processing of materials to final inspection of the finished product. The 47th tire plant of its global Group, the Monterrey facility is the third to be built in Mexico; the other two are located in Mexico City and Cuernavaca. The Group is currently constructing three additional plants, one each in Hungary, Poland and Japan. (From a press release on Nov. 8, 2007)