Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone Wins First Supply Contract with Airbus

Jan 01, 2005

Bridgestone Corporation announced today that it has concluded its first-ever contract to supply tyres to Airbus S.A.S. The contract pertains to tyres for the ultra-advanced A380, the next generation super jumbo airliner. Bridgestone will begin supplying tyres to Airbus for the nose and main landing gear of the A380 on the fourth quarter of 2005.

The A380 Airbus, which will carry 555 passengers, is in the early days of manufacturing. Airbus's planscall for the plane to go into commercial service in early 2006.

Bridgestone is creating new-generation aircraft tyres for the A380. The tyres will feature a newly developed belt structure, which will contain ultrahigh-strength cord and provide superior elasticity. Bridgestone's new belt structure will offer improvements in resisting external damage, in performing reliably even after sustaining external damage, in minimising tyre weight and in extending tyre life by reducing wear.

A fully loaded A380 will weigh more than 560 tons. It's tyres will need to support that weight through repeated takeoffs and landings at speeds of up to 370 kilometres per hour. Developing tyres for the A380 has been an opportunity for Brigestone to showcase comprehensive strengths in tyre technology. They are the same strengths that underlie the company's continuing dominance in Formula One racing and in other motorsports.

"This contract is testimony to our success in meeting Airbus's most rigorous demands in regard to performance, quality and other criteria," says Hideki Inose, Bridgestone's Vice President and Officer, responsible for aircraft tyre sales. "It is further acknowledgement of our competitive edge in advanced tire technology. That edge has enabled us to earn a 34% share of the global market for tyres for large and medium-sizes airlines."

Bridgestone manufactures new tyres for aircarft at its Kurume Plant, in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Bridgestone Group companies operate four retreading plants for aircraft tyres in the United States, Belgium, Hong Kong and Tokyo. That geographical reach positions the Bridgestone Group to provide global support to customers in the aviation industry.

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's largest manufacturer of tyres and other rubber products. Tyres account for 80 percent of Bridgestone Group sales worldwide. The company also manufactures industrial rubber and chemical products, sporting goods and other diversified products. It sells its tyres and other products in more than 150 nations.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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