Bridgestone Corporation Business Report FY ended Dec. 2015

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 Rate of change (%) Factors
Sales 3,790,251 3,673,964 3.2 -
Operating Profit 517,248 478,038 8.2 -
Ordinary income 507,303 463,212 9.5 -
Current net income 284,294 300,589 (5.4) -
Tire Division
Sales 3,168,218 3,088,626 2.6 1)
Operating Profit 472,762 435,837 8.5 -

*The results of Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana, C.A., a subsidiary in Venezuela, and its subsidiaries also, were removed from of the consolidated results. This results in an extraordinary loss of JPY 43.5 billion.

1) Tire Division

-Sales of passenger-car tires and tires for small trucks were lower y/y due to lower demand because of the warm winter. Sales of tires for trucks and buses were about the same as those of the previous year.

-The North American tire business recorded higher y/y sales of tires for passenger cars and small trucks. In addition sales of tires for trucks and buses were strong, exceeding those of the previous year.

-Sales of tires for passenger cars, small trucks, trucks, and buses were all strong, exceeding those of the previous year.

-Sales of tires for passenger cars, small trucks, trucks, and buses were strong, exceeding those of the previous year.


-Bridgestone Americas, Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to divest its business in Venezuela, Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana C.A. (BFVZ), to the Corimon Group. This divestiture follows BFVZ deconsolidation in the third quarter of 2015, and a strategic decision to prioritize Bridgestone’s growth and investment in other Latin American markets. (From a press release on May 23, 2016)

Company Awarded Favorable Ruling in Design-Infringement Lawsuit

-The Company announced that it has received a favorable ruling in its lawsuit for infringement of design rights against Chinese major tire manufacturer Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd (Triangle Tyre). Triangle Tyre had been manufacturing and selling tires using a tread pattern for studless tires that Bridgestone holds exclusive design rights to. In October 2013, Bridgestone filed a lawsuit with the Intermediate People's Court in Changchun, China, claiming that the activities of Triangle Tyre constituted an infringement of its design rights. In July 2015, Bridgestone's claim was upheld, and the court ordered Triangle Tyre to cease manufacture and sale of tires that use the tread pattern and pay damages to the Bridgestone. While Triangle Tyre appealed the ruling, the High People's Court in Jilin Province upheld the original ruling in January 2016 at an appeal trial, resulting in a victory for Bridgestone. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on May 20, 2016)

Mid-term Management Plan

-The Company announced that it has made its new "2016 mid-term business plan" for the years 2017 to 2021. The new business plan is an update of the 2015 mid-term business plan, and includes new strategies and measures to reflect changes in business environment and future prospects. The Company has set a new target of becoming "a true global company" and "being far ahead of the others in the industry in every respect," and will cultivate global corporate culture, develop human resources capable of global management, and upgrade the global management structure. The Company will strengthen its competitiveness by introducing its cutting-edge "Examation" tire assembling system utilizing information and communication technologies (ICT) with a new artificial intelligence (AI), to its plants outside Japan by the end of 2016. The Examation system has been only deployed at the Company's flagship Hikone Plant so far. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 18, 2016)

Major initiatives of "2016 Mid-term Management Plan"

Innovation (technology,business model & design)
  1. Introduce the new State-of-the Art tire assembling system "EXAMATION" to overseas plants

  2. In Jun. 2016, introduction of "EXAMATION" in Hikone Plant
    -The Company has introduced the new “Examation” tire assembling system, which utilizes information and communication technologies, at its Hikone Plant. The Company has converted its material processing expertise, and data 480 quality categories for single tires into algorithms. The new Examation system uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically control tire assembling processes based on these proprietary algorithms. The new system achieves automatic control of all assembling processes and offers an improvement of more than 15% in tire uniformity. The Examation system will be used to manufacture series-produced tires that are 17 inches and smaller. The Company plans to introduce the new system into its other plants in and outside Japan successively. The Hikone Plant, which is the first to introduce the new system, is a facility specifically designed for manufacturing passenger car tires. The plant has a daily production capacity of 53,000 units and is one of the largest passenger car tire plants in the Bridgestone Group. Since labor shortages have become the norm at the Hikone Plant, the introduction of automation to save manpower savings has become necessary. With the introduction of the new system, the Company is aiming to increase production capacity at the Hikone Plant by 1.4 times. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 14, 2016)
Enhance and expand sales network
  1. Acquisition of Speedy in France
    -In Jul. 2016, Bridgestone EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) completed the acquisition of 100% of Speedy France, one of France's leading tire and automotive service providers. (From a press release on August 5, 2016)

  2. Joint Venture with Pneuhage in Germany
    -The Company announced that it has reached agreement on a joint tire sales venture in Germany with Pneuhage Management GmbH & Co. KG (PNH,), a German automotive parts sales and service company. Currently, the Bridgestone Group has 190 tire retail stores in Germany. Together with the PNH Group's 440 stores, Bridgestone will strengthen its aftermarket tire sales in the country. Bridgestone's European subsidiary will have a 25% interest in PNH's subsidiary, Pneuhage Partners Group GmbH & Co. KG (PPG,) and Bridgestone Group's tire retail business in Germany will be transferred to PPG. Approval from the European Commission for the establishment of a tire sales joint venture will be acquired in September or later. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on July 2, 2016)

  3. Acquisition of TireConnect Systems in Canada, a software company dealing with an online tire sales tool
    -The Company will acquire a Canada-based software company dealing with an online tire sales tool. In line with the acquisition, Bridgestone will begin online tire sales operations in North America by March 2016. Bridgestone will further expand sales of its products by strengthening its sales network in North America where demand for automobiles is brisk. The acquisition will be made by Bridgestone Americas, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, and will be completed by November 22, 2015. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 2, 2015)

-The Company announced the Company's Mid-term Management Plan for 2015 covering 5 years from 2016 to 2020. Under the Management Plan, the Company will reorganize its Tokyo Plant located in Kodaira City, Tokyo. The Company will transfer the production of tires for passenger cars and light-duty trucks at its Tokyo Plant to other domestic plants by June 2016. The Company will also expand R&D facilities at its Tokyo Plant. The Company will invest JPY 30 billion in this project, with construction slated to begin in 2017. The Company will gradually open new R&D facilities, starting in 2018. By enhancing R&D capacity at the Tokyo Plant, its key R&D base, the Company will strengthen its global competitiveness. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 17, 2015)

Major initiatives of "2015 Mid-term Management Plan"

Technology & Business model innovation
  1. Evolving the R&D structure
    -Announced on 16 Oct: Reorganize R&D and Manufacturing Base in Kodaira City, Tokyo
    ・Expand R&D facilities: Strengthen basic research, production technologies and testing/evaluation methods.
    ・To foster open innovation through active cooperation with outside entities, it will establish new facilities adding interface functions to facilitate exchange of human resources and technologies.
    ・Investment is about JPY 30 billion with construction slated to begin in 2017.

  2. The Company will transfer and consolidate the production of radial ties for passenger cars and light trucks at its Tokyo Plant, also located in Kodaira, to other domestic plants. The Company will continue the production of radial ties for aircraft in Kodaira.
Restructuring the Tire business SBUs
  1. Integrated the six regional SBUs originally established in 2006 into four
    -Sep. 2015 : Integrating Europe SBU and Middle East, Africa, Turkey
Expanding the Diversified Products businesses
  1. Globalization
    -Sep. 2016: The Company announced that its subsidiary PT Bridgestone Astra Indonesia (BSAI) held an opening ceremony for its new automotive anti-vibration rubber products manufacturing plant in Indonesia. This joint company is established in Purwakarta, West Java, owned 51% by Bridgestone and 49% by Astra Otoparts. The plant is the Bridgestone Group's first in-house production facility for automotive anti-vibration rubber products in Indonesia. The plant will have a monthly production capacity of 300,000 units. Bridgestone Group has licensed out its technologies to a subsidiary of PT. Astra Otoparts Tbk, a manufacturer of auto parts in Indonesia, for automotive anti-vibration rubber products for the Indonesian market. Production will be transferred to the new plant of BSAI. The plant will adopt new production technologies to establish a system for supplying high quality products to clients such as automakers in a timely manner. The products will initially be supplied to vehicle manufacturers operating in Indonesia, and Bridgestone will consider exporting the products throughout the ASEAN region in the future. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on September 26, 2016)

Major Contracts

-Major contracts gained in FY ended Dec. 2015

Product Installed models
Tire - BRIDGESTONE brand
Run Flat Tire BMW Brilliance PHV "530Le"
REGNO GR-XI Nissan "Fuga"
POTENZA RE-71R Toyota "86 GRMN"
POTENZA S001 Toyota "86 GT Yellow Limited Aero package FT"
POTENZA RE050A Suzuki "Alto Turbo RS", Toyota "Mark X GRMN"
TURANZA T002, ECOPIA EP150, ECOPIA EP422 Plus Toyota "Prius"
TURANZA T001 Mazda New SUV "CX-3"
DUELER H/L33, DUELER H/L33A Toyota New SUV Lexus "RX"
ECOPIA EP150 Daihatsu "Cast", Suzuki "Solio", "Alto Lapin", "Alto X grade", "Every Wagon", Luxgen Motor MPV "M7 Turbo Eco Hyper", Toyota "Sienta"
ECOPIA R680 Suzuki "Every"
Tire - FIRESTONE brand
Destination LE2 Toyota 2016 All New "Tacoma"
Except Tire
Rear seat pad, Anti-vibration rubber for engine mount Toyota New "Prius"

Outlook for FY ending Dec. 31, 2016

(in million JPY)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Rate of Change
Sales 3,340,000 3,790,251 (11.9)
Operating income 453,000 517,248 (12.4)
Ordinary income 434,000 507,303 (14.4)
Net income attributable to owners of the parent 257,000 284,294 (9.6)

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

R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Overall 94,900 94,100 89,000
-Tire Division 79,400 79,400 75,100

R&D Facilities

Number of R&D Facilities (as of 1 April, 2016)

The Americas Europe/Middle East
China/Asia Pacific Japan Total
Technical Center 1 1 2 2 6
Proving Ground 4 1 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
Thailand Pathumthani
Proving Ground
U.S.A Fort Stockton, Texas
Columbiana, Ohio
Mexico Acuna
Brazil San Pedro
Italy Aprilia
Thailand Nong Khae, Ayutthaya
Indonesia Karawang
China Yixing


Company participating in the IoT Consortium sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
-The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) held a plenary meeting to establish an IoT (Internet of Things) promotion consortium toward the proliferation of IoT technologies in the society. At the plenary meeting, METI and MIC formally inaugurated the promotion consortium. The IoT consortium aims to promote utilization of IoT technologies and other innovative technologies associated with big data and artificial intelligence (AI) across companies and industries. Besides automakers, JTEKT Corporation, Bridgestone Corporation, Yazaki Corporation and other Japanese parts suppliers will participate in. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 26, 2015)

R&D Activities

"ULTIMATEYE" (tire-analyzing technology)
-This technology is capable of measuring, predicting, and visualizing how tires make contact with road surfaces. This technology is being equipped on the REGNO GR-XI passenger-car tire, which is in the premium REGNO tires series that was launched in February 2015.

Contact Area Information Sensing "CAIS"
-The Company announced that it has put the world’s first technology to determine road surface conditions into practical application. The Contact Area Information Sensing (CAIS), a new technology to determine road conditions using tires, detects a sudden change of road conditions such as a snowfall using a sensor module attached to the inside of tires. The road condition is classified into seven, such as dry, sherbet-type and snowfall, using a vehicle-mounted analyzer. This time, the Company has concluded a license agreement with Nexco-Engineering Hokkaido Co., Ltd., which has conducted the tests of the CAIS with Bridgestone. Collected road surface information is sent to road management offices in real time to improve efficiency of clearing snow and ice from the road. In the future, the CAIS technology will be used to detect dangerous road conditions in advance to alert drivers and also applied to sophisticated vehicle control technologies. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 26, 2015)

Natural Rubber Extracted from "Guayule"
-The Company has developed a new tire made of guayule, a shrub containing natural rubber. The Company is the first company which started from the cultivation of guayule and built the passenger tire with 100 % of guayule natural rubber. The Company will consider the scale of guayule production, aiming to commercialize the new tire in the early 2020s. All of the tire's major natural rubber components were replaced with natural rubber extracted from guayule. The new tire offers load‐carrying capacity and durability required for tires. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 2, 2015)

Fleet solution using "Tirematics" IT system
-The Company announced that it has commenced verification tests of a fleet solution using its proprietary Tirematics IT system in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The verification tests started with four vehicles in cooperation with a Brazilian bus rapid transit (BRT) operator. The Tirematics IT system measures air pressure and temperature of tires for buses as well as commercial trucks using a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Tirematics allows operators to remotely monitor real-time information about the tires as well as vehicle location. When the system detects abnormal tire air pressure or sudden temperature changes from a truck in service, the system will inform the service manager and the driver via an alert. This will make it possible to prevent unexpected operational troubles caused by tire failures. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on July 22, 2016)

Product Development

-The Company announced that it will add four tire sizes, developed for mini vehicle use, to its Potenza "Adrenalin RE003" sports tire series, and that they will be released on February 15. The Adrenalin RE003 series employ a tread pattern which has both high levels of block rigidity and water-repellency developed though the Company's work engineering tires for motor sports. Adrenalin RE003 tires offer a nimble steering feel for anything from driving at high speeds, to normal commuting in a city. They are made from silica-blended rubber that offer superb grip on wet road surfaces. With the addition of the four new varieties, the Adrenalin RE003 tire lineup will consist of 41 different tire sizes. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 21, 2016)

-In May 27, 2015, Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. announced that it will release its "Driveguard" new run-flat tires in July 2015. The Driveguard tire enables a vehicle to be driven safely at zero pressure (0kPa) for 80 kilometers at a maximum speed of 80km/h in normal road conditions. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on June 9, 2015)

Capital Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016
FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
(Actual Result)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2014
(Actual Result)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
(Actual Result)
Overall 277,000 253,500 296,300 274,900
-Tire Division 250,000 229,800 268,300 255,900

Tire division's major investment projects for FY ended Dec. 2015
-New plants in Russia and Vietnam to produce radial tires for passenger vehicles (currently under construction)
-New plants in the U.S. and Thailand to produce radial tires for construction and mining vehicles (currently under construction)
-Existing plants shifting to producing value-added products and improving quality and productivity.

Investment Outside Japan

-Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations announced the expansion of the company’s passenger tire manufacturing facility in Wilson, North Carolina, with an official groundbreaking ceremony. The company will invest USD 164 million in the five-year project. Phases one and two of the investment, which will total nearly USD 100 million, will focus on the addition of 167,000 square feet of manufacturing space to increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day, bringing daily production to 35,000 by 2018. (From a press release on March 9, 2016)

-The Company announced that it will establish an automotive seat foam plant in Niagara County, New York, U.S.A. The plant, which will be called the Sanborn Plant, will serve as the Company's third seat foam production base in the U.S. and the eleventh in the global market. The new facility will have a floor area of 65,000 square feet (approximately 6,000 square meters) on 11 acres (approximately 45,000 square meters) of land. The Company will lease this building from a local developer, and will invest USD 5 million (approximately JPY 600 million) in manufacturing equipment. Operation is planned to begin by March 2017, with full-scale production expected to start around June-August 2017. Seat foam will be supplied for Japanese OEMs' vehicles sold in North America. This project is expected to create approximately 60 new jobs by the end of 2017. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on December 18, 2015)

-Bridgestone Canada Inc. announced that it is expanding its Canadian passenger and light truck tire manufacturing facility in Joliette, Quebec, as part of a five-year investment that could total upwards of CAD 300 million (approximately USD 250 million). The multi-phase expansion of the facility is expected to break ground in 2016, and will help the plant meet market demand by producing larger diameter tires that fit today’s pickup trucks and SUVs. The overall project will help increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day to bring daily production to 20,000 tires per day by 2023. The Joliette facility produced its 150 millionth tire in 2014. (From a press release on February 26, 2016)