When it comes to rubber and tire production, a company will always be the leader. Yes, it is the Bridgestone Tire Corporation. As Wikipedia and several other sources confirm, Bridgestone is the largest tire manufacturer worldwide.
But many people don’t know who makes Bridgestone tires. The answer is simple. Yes, “Bridgestone Corporation” manufactures and supplies the famous Bridgestone tires worldwide. The company also manufactures different auto and truck parts.
If you are interested to know about Bridgestone tires, their history, and product lines, let’s jump into the discussion. We assure you won’t regret reading the amazing story of the tire company.
Who Makes Bridgestone Tires
Bridgestone, according to 2021 data is the largest tire manufacturer worldwide. Bridgestone Corporation has, however, the second largest market share for tires.
As the BRIDGESTONE DATA 2021 shows, the company has a 15.3% market share and revenue of all the tires sold in the world. It is topped by Michelin, which holds 17% of the market revenue.
Nonetheless, Bridgestone has merged with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company these days. The merger has changed the name of the company to Bridgestone Americas. It also holds the largest market share in America’s tire industry.
However, Bridgestone didn’t become the world’s largest tire manufacturer in a single day. It has an exciting and inspirational history of being its leading rubber and tire manufacturer. So, it’s time we go through their origin, growth, and unique history.
Origin and History of Bridgestone
Shojiro Ishibashi was the founder of the Bridgestone Corporation in 1931. He founded the tire company in Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. Interestingly, the company produced its first tire in 1930, which was even earlier than the company was formed formally.
The tire division of the “Tabi” Socks made the first tire for Bridgestone. They continued to produce the tires for the next year until, in 1931, Shojiro Ishibashi separated the tire division. At this time, he established Bridgestone as an independent tire manufacturer in Japan.
Previously, Japanese tire manufacturers depended on European and American technology. Shojiro Ishibashi was a futuristic entrepreneur as he shifted dependency on foreign technology and focused on Japanese technology.
Nonetheless, the company grew rapidly until World War II. As the war broke out, the company saw a great setback. The struggle continued even after the war as Japan surrendered. Also, the Allied Forces bombed and destroyed the headquarters of Bridgestone. Also, the company lost its entire overseas wealth.
The struggle continued for several years due to further labor strikes. Thankfully, after the 1950s, the tire producer slowly turned around and started expanding its business.
They started manufacturing bicycles with Bridgestone Cycle Company. They first introduced the 26cc powered bicycle. Next, they brought the 500cc motorcycle. Yet, their main revenue kept coming from the different tires.
The Naming of Bridgestone Company
You may wonder how a Japanese tire manufacturing company got its English name. Well, it has an interesting story. The name came from the translation of the founder Shojiro Ishibashi’s name.
The first part of the company name Bridge came from the word “Bashi,” and the second part, Stone, came from “Ishi.” So, the naming of the tire company is quite impressive and clever.
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Purchase of Firestone
After the 1960s, Bridgestone Tire Corporation started expanding its overseas business. They found the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company as their premium competitor as they reached America. The fierce competition continued for the next few decades.
A groundbreaking event happened in 1988 when Bridgestone purchased the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. The merge of these two tire manufacturers made Bridgestone the largest tire supplier worldwide.
Also, the company evolved as Bridgestone Americas. Since then, they have enjoyed great popularity in the American tire market.
Different Products of Bridgestone
Bridgestone is a leading tire manufacturer worldwide. But, what most people don’t know is that the company also has a great product line. Yes, it manufactures some amazing products, including bicycles, motorcycles, etc.
Industrial, Construction, and Electrical Elements
Since Bridgestone works with high-quality rubbers, they have invested in industrial rubber elements. You will find their polyurethane foam almost in every rubber or foam-made item. The list includes automobile seats, bedding, water tubes, hose, etc.
The company also manufactures multiple products for civil engineering and construction sites. You will find their Multi-Rubber Bearings useful for earthquake protection of the buildings. Also, they manufacture inflatable rubber dams. It comes in handy in maintaining waterways without dredging it always.
The company even manufactures different electrical and electronic equipment. It includes plasma displays, functional films, and precision rollers.
Bicycle, Motorcycle, and Golf Products
Bridgestone has also invested heavily in its sports section. They have established Bridgestone Golf as an independent company. It manufactures different golf accessories and items.
In fact, you will be truly surprised to know that Bridgestone Golf was established in 1935, only four years after the original tire company was founded.
Bridgestone golf balls have become the number one choice for golfers in Japan. Their golf balls are also highly popular worldwide. Following the success of their golf balls, the company introduced its Golf Clubs in 1972.
It also gained immense popularity within the next few years. Bridgestone has two different golf accessories production lines in America and Australia. These are:
- Bridgestone Golf USA
- Bridgestone Golf Australia
In the early days, Bridgestone also manufactured bicycles and motorcycles. They brought mopeds to the Japanese market. Unfortunately, their high production cost forced the company to stop the production of their motorcycles in 1981.
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Sponsorship in Formula Racing
Being a leading tire manufacturer, it is no surprise that Bridgestone has worked with automobile and sports competition. They first came into the motorsports arena in the 1980s. At that time, they developed their first racing tires.
They made those tires for the following tournaments:
- Formula 2
- Formula 3
- Formula Ford
- Formula Opel Lotus
Since 1997 Bridgestone Tire has been supplying tires for Formula 1 too. The company got its first tiles in 1998, which was a great achievement. Since then, they have won the following titles:
- Drivers’ Championship titles
- Constructors’ Championship
The tire company had won both titles five times. Unfortunately, Bridgestone discontinued supplying the tires for Formula 1 (F1), and Pirelli started supplying the tires then.
Sponsorship in Motorcycle Sports
Besides sponsoring the car racing events, Bridgestone has also sponsored the MotoGP. The company was the sole tire supplier for the MotoGP tournament from 2009 to 2015. Also, in 2012 it acquired its 100th MotoGP victory.
Last but least, Bridgestone also sponsored the official tires for the following tournaments.
- National Football League
- National Hockey League
- Olympic Games
Frequently Asked Questions
No, Bridgestone tires are not made by Firestone. Bridgestone and Firestone are two separate companies. Bridgestone is the world’s largest tire manufacturer, while Firestone is a subsidiary of Bridgestone.
No, Bridgestone is not owned by Goodyear. Bridgestone is a separate company that produces tires and other rubber products.
Bridgestone tires are a quality brand and have been around for many years. They are a reliable choice for a tire and will provide good performance.
Bridgestone owns a number of tire brands, including Potenza, Alenza, Turanza, Dueler, Driveguard, Ecopia, Blizzak
Bridgestone tires are manufactured in Japan, But they also have plants in the USA.
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This article has discussed who makes Bridgestone tires. Bridgestone Tire has a rich history of making the best tires for different vehicles. They also manufacture different rubber materials for construction, civil engineering, and industrial applications.
The company has one of the largest market shares in the tire industry. Following the massive success in the tire industry, they have further invested in Golf and also become a leader there. And to keep their market intact, they have continued manufacturing great quality tires.
Besides, they have sponsored the biggest sports competitions to develop their market awareness and brand value.