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New CEO: Bridgestone to focus more on specialty tires

Tyrepress.com reports that Bridgestone’s recently appointed CEO Maasaki Tsuya indicated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the tiremaker will be focussing more on high end specialty tires in order to combat increasing competition from Asian manufacturers and global economic challenges. “We will lose if we make similar products using similar production methods (to our competitors),” he said in the interview.

Like other tiremakers, Bridgestone faces weaker demand for commercial vehicle tires from crisis-plagued Europe, and Tsuya believes the region’s problems could drag on for years. On the other hand, Bridgestone’s Asian rivals are getting a boost from continuing strong economic growth in the region, including competitors in China, Taiwan, and Korea.

Given this situation, Tsuya believes that Bridgestone’s survival is dependent upon the development of superior new products and production technologies. Tsuya believes Bridgestone should concentrate on large OTR tires for construction and mining vehicles and fuel efficient passenger car tires as its core products, since these are products that competitors cannot easily match.

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