Bridgestone Corporation Business Report FY ended Dec. 2013

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 Rate of change (%) Factors
Sales 3,568,091 3,039,738 17.4 -
Operating Profit 438,131 285,995 53.2 -
Ordinary income 434,793 285,043 52.5 -
Current net income 202,053 171,605 17.7 -
Tire Segment
Sales 3,033,660 2,554,126 18.8 1)
Operating Profit 399,496 260,488 53.4 -

-Sales volume of passenger car and light truck tires increased year-on-year thanks to stronger demand for aftermarket tires. Sales volume of truck and bus tires also grew from the previous year.

<North America>
- Sales volumes increased in both the passenger car & light truck tire segment and the truck & bus tire segment.

-Sales volume of passenger car and light truck tires decreased year-on-year, while that of truck and bus tires increased year-on-year.

-Sales volume of passenger car and light truck tires increased year-on-year thanks to greater demand for aftermarket tires. Sales volume of truck and bus tires also climbed from the previous year.

- Sales volumes gained significantly from the previous year in both the passenger car & light truck tire segment and the truck & bus tire segment.

Major Contracts

Product Installed models
Dueler H/T 687 Toyota "Harrier"
ECOPIA EP150 Chevrolet "Spark"
ECOPIA EP150 Mazda "Axela"
ECOPIA EP150 Daihatsu "Tanto", "Tanto Custom"
ECOPIA EP25 Toyota "Corolla Axio", "Corolla Fielder" (Hybrid models)
ECOPIA EP25 Toyota "Corolla"(Hybrid model)
Firestone Destination LE2 and Destination A/T Chrysler "Jeep Cherokee"
ECOPIA EP150 Nissan "DAYZ/DAYZ Highway STAR"
Mitsubishi "eK wagon/eK custom"
TURANZA T001/ER33 Toyota "Lexus IS"
ECOPIA EP150 Suzuki "Spacia"
RE050A RFT GM "Cadillac ATS"


Close and consolidate Kuroiso plant producing steel cords
-The Company will close and consolidate the Kuroiso plant producing steel cords for tires in Nasushiobara, Tochigi prefecture in late September 2014. The consolidation was stated in the company’s newly formulated Mid-term Management Plan 2013. Currently, the Company produces steel cords for reinforcing tires at the Kuroiso Plant and the Saga Plant in Miyaki-gun, Saga Prefecture. The Kuroiso Plant has an annual production capacity of 47,000 tons of steel cords, 6,200 tons of hose wires, and 29,000 tons of bead wires. Intense competition in the steel cord industry has made it difficult for the Company to maintain operations at its two Japanese plants. Bridgestone believes that consolidating production into the Saga plant will reduce excessive production in Japan and optimize global production, which in turn, will improve business efficiency. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 18, 2013)

-The Company announced on March 4 that it would close down its passenger car radial tire plant in Italy. Prior to the shutdown, operations at the Bari facility will be discontinued in the first half of 2014. In the slowing European economy, demand for tires is decreasing. The Bari Plant is capable of producing 21,000 tires a day with a workforce of approximately 950 people. The company has decided that it would not be feasible to shift the function of the aging facility to production of premium tires such as ultra high-performance tires and winter tires, market of which is expected to grow. In addition, the Italian factory is at a distinct disadvantage compared with other Bridgestone facilities in terms of logistics costs and energy expenses, with no prospect of restoring profitability. The company will soon start discussions to work out the best solution for minimizing the impact of the closure on its employees, their families and the local society. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Mar. 6, 2013)

>>>Financial Forecast for the Next Fiscal Year (Sales, Operating Income etc.)


R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2011 FY ended Dec. 31, 2010
Overall 89,000 82,800 83,900
Tire Segment 75,100 66,700 66,200

Product Development

Non-Pneumatic Tire
-The Company has developed its second generation "Air Free Concept (Non-Pneumatic) Tire." A special spoke design on the wheel side supports the load of the vehicle efficiently, which eliminates needs to refill the tires with air. Compared to its first generation tire for use in electric carts or other small machines, the latest generation Air Free Concept Tire enhances functionalities to improve load-bearing capabilities and driving performance. Bridgestone also pursues a technology to achieve extremely low rolling resistance which contributes to reducing CO2 emissions. By utilizing these technologies, the new tires can be fitted on an ultra-compact mobility with a maximum speed of 60 km/h. After testing the durability and recycling efficiency of the tires, Bridgestone plans to launch the new products in the next few years. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 25, 2013)

New tire can be reused after two retreadings
-The Company's M800 all-season tire for trucks and buses will go on sale on September 1, 2013. The M800 is Bridgestone's first tire that can be reused after two retreadings, although the size variation is limited. Retreading involves removing used tire treads off worn tires and applying new, freshly vulcanized treads, so that the body of the tires can be reused safely. Generally, a tire can only be retreaded once. The M800 has been developed by applying a new technology to block air routes to the inner liner attached inside the tire to prevent air transmission, making it possible to withstand two retreadings. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on July 13, 2013)

Color-printed tires
-The Company is releasing new tires whose sidewalls are color-printed with specially-developed inks for the first time in the world. The new products, "Ecopia EP001S Colorside (green-type)" and "Ecopia EV-01 Colorside (blue-type)," will be put into the market starting on July 1, 2013. The new color-printed tires are colored by a new printing technology whose joint development between Bridgestone and an ink manufacturer was announced in 2012. The new technology utilizes special inks with high durability and rubber materials with high resistance to discoloration. Unlike conventional colored tires that use colored rubber materials, the new tires are color-printed with inks to realize high durability and superior visual effects. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Jun 14, 2013)

Number of R&D Facilities

  North America Central
& South America
Europe Middle East/
Japan Total
Technical Center 1 0 1 0 1 2 5
2 2 1 0 3 2 10

R&D Facilities in Japan

R&D Facility Location
Technical Center Kodaira, Tokyo
Technical Center for Diversified Products Yokohama, Kanagawa
Bridgestone Proving Grounds Nasushiobara, Tochigi
Hokkaido Proving Grounds Shibetsu, Hokkaido

R&D Facilities Outside Japan

Country City
Technical Center
U.S.A Akron, Ohio
Italy Rome
China Wuxi
Proving Ground
U.S.A Fort Stockton
Mexico Acuna
Brazil San Pedro
Italy Aprilia
Thailand Nong Khae, Ayutthaya
Indonesia Karawang
China Yixing

-Bridgestone Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. announced that it has held an opening ceremony for Bridgestone Asia Pacific Technical Center Co., Ltd. in Bangkok, Thailand. This will be the Bridgestone Group's first technical center in Thailand, and also in the Asia Pacific region other than China and Japan. Approximately JPY 4.1 billion (USD 41.7 million) was invested in the new center. With a workforce of some 40 employees, the new technical center will oversee the functions of Tire Development, Production Technology, Quality Management, and Procurement, and serve as a regional base to enhance the operational level in terms of safety, environment, product quality and delivery in its Asian plants. (From a press release on August 19, 2013)

-Bridgestone Americas Inc. announced the groundbreaking of its Biorubber Process Research Center, a research and development project in Mesa, Arizona, U.S.A., to investigate the use of the Guayule plant as an alternative natural rubber source. Once completed, the center will be home to a staff of 40 researchers and technicians. The first rubber samples for tire evaluations are expected in mid-2015. Guayule is a perennial shrub native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The plant produces natural rubber in its bark and roots. Natural rubber from Guayule has almost identical qualities to that harvested from the Hevea tree, which currently is the primary source for the natural rubber used in tire production. (From a press release on May 9, 2013)

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 FY ended Dec. 31, 2011
Overall 274,900 245,600 201,300
Tire business (Consolidated) 255,900 223,600 174,700


Investment Outside Japan

-The Company is committing USD 63 million (JPY 6.5 billion) to boost radial tire production by 40% at its Brazilian subsidiary, Bridgestone do Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda (BSBR). BSBR will expand its plant, located in the state of Bahia, to produce approximately 2,800 additional car and light-duty truck tires per day. This will raise the plant's total daily production to around 10,100 tires. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in the latter half of 2015. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on December 18, 2013)

-The Company announced that Bridgestone Automotive Products de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (BAMX) will establish a plant to produce polyurethane foam for automobile seats in Celaya City, Guanajuato. BAMX is Bridgestone's new subsidiary established in July 2013. The company will invest approximately JPY 1.4 billion in this factory in order to meet increasing demand from automakers, which are expanding their production operations in the country. The new facility will start mass production in the first half of 2015. Its annual production capacity will be polyurethane foam for 360,000 passenger cars. The plant will be Bridgestone's tenth global production base for the car seat cushion material and the first of its kind in Mexico. Bridgestone manufactures this material in four other countries. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 31, 2013)

-The Company announced that its passenger car radial tire plant, Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd., in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China will boost its production capacity by approximately 5,300 tires per day, to approximately 22,600 tires per day. The expansion is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016. The company plans to invest a total of CHY 852 million (approximately JPY 11.5 billion) in the project. (From a press release on October 29, 2013)

-The Company announced that its subsidiary in China, Bridgestone (Shenyang) Tire Co., Ltd. (Shenyang Plant), will build a new manufacturing facility as part of its relocation project. The Shenyang Plant, currently located in Shenyang City in the Liaoning Province of China, manufactures truck and bus tires. The total investment, including construction of the building and production equipment, is 299.7 million USD (approximately 24.5 billion yen). Production capacity at the Shenyang Plant is anticipated to be around 5,000 tires per day. The plant is scheduled to begin operating at its new site in 2014. (From a press release on February 22, 2013)

-The Company announced that its subsidiary, Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing Vietnam Limited Liability Company (BTMV), will boost expected production capacity at its new passenger car radial tire plant. The plant is currently under construction at the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone of Hai Phong City in Vietnam. The company forecasts that global demand for passenger car radial tires will outstrip original expectations . The total investment in the plant is expected to increase to approximately JPY 41.6 billion. The new plant is scheduled to start operations in March 2014. It was initially designed to produce 25,000 tires per day by the first half of 2016. BTMV plans to add production lines with the additional investment, which will almost double the plant’s capacity to 49,000 units per day by the second half of 2017. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 17, 2013)

-The Company will produce radial tires for passenger cars at a new plant in Turkey. The new plant is scheduled to begin operations in January 2018. Bridgestone's affiliated company in Turkey had been evaluating potential sites, and reached an agreement on the acquisition of a site in Aksaray Province Organized Industrial Zone for the construction of the new plant. The total investment for the new plant is estimated to be JPY 28 billion. Production capacity at the plant is expected to reach approximately 13,000 tires a day by the second half of 2022. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 10, 2013)

-The Company announced that its Thai subsidiary, Bridgestone NCR Co., Ltd., will start producing conveyor belts at its plant in Rayong, Thailand. Approximately JPY 3 billion will be invested into a new conveyor belt production line. The new production line is scheduled to become operational in the first half of 2015. Bridgestone NCR currently manufactures automotive hoses and anti-vibration rubber. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on August 23, 2013)

-The Company announced that it will establish a new passenger car radial tire plant in the Zavolzhye Industrial Zone in Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russia. The new plant, Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing C.I.S. LLC, is scheduled to be set up in the first half of 2013 as the company's first production base in the Russia/CIS region. Recently, tire manufacturing companies have been increasing their production capacities in the emerging markets to expand their businesses. Among other Japanese tire manufacturers, the Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. started passenger car tire production in Russia last year. Total investment in Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing C.I.S. LLC will amount to 12.5 billion rubles (approximately 37.5 billion yen), 90 percent of which will be provided by Bridgestone and the remaining 10 percent provided by Mitsubishi Corporation. The new subsidiary will supply Bridgestone's strategic products such as winter tires to the local market, starting in the first half of 2016. Production capacity is expected to reach about 12,000 tires a day during the second half of 2018. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Apr. 16, 2013)

-Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations announced a milestone, as it begins production of an additional 12,750 passenger car radial tires (PSR) and light truck radial tires (LTR) per day. This 346 million USD investment by Bridgestone Americas creates almost 300 full-time jobs in Aiken County.

-Indian subsidiary, Bridgestone India Private Ltd. (BSID), has begun producing passenger car radial tires at its new tire factory located near the city of Pune in Mahrashtra State. The Company invested about 50 billion yen in this project. The Company intends to enhance its capacity to supply tires for the domestic market in India, where the automotive market is growing significantly. The plant will also produce truck and bus radial tires, starting in October 2013. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Feb. 7, 2013)