Bridgestone South Africa

The History of Run Flat Tyres and Bridgestone

Sep 13, 2007

Tyres have come a long way since Shojiro Ishibashi founded Bridgestone Tyre in 1931 and realised the Bridgestone brand as is it known all over the world.

The one thing that has not changed is the legacy of these two pioneers: Bridgestone's endless pursuit of technological advancements that continue to drive today's modern tyre technology and design.

Regardless of the type of vehicle, all share one thing in common: tyres. And because tyres are the only part of the vehicle connecting with the road, it is impossible to overstate their importance. The most advanced technology in today's tyres is not a luxury, but a necessity.

And now, the next wave of tyre technology is here: run-flat tyres.

Bridgestone has been addressing the development of run flat tyres for more than 20 years. The company continues to focus on the development to provide more advanced technology to auto makers and consumers, placing the highest priority on the safety and comfort of customers.

1980s

  • A pioneer in the early development of run-flat tyres " the company produced a sidewall-reinforcement run flat tyre in the early 1980s as part of a social activity for disabled persons - Bridgestone introduced its first run-flat technology in 1987 as a specifically designed factory fitment for the Porsche 959.

1990s

  • Bridgestone achieves success in developing the tyre pressure monitoring systems for run flat tyres.
  • Bridgestone achieves success in developing the roll flat support systems that allow for driving after the tyre pressure drops.
  • Run flat tyres go on sale as one of the Firestone brands in North America.
  • The run flat version of an Expedia S-01 high performance tyre goes on sale in the US.

2002

  • BMW Z4 features Bridgestone RE050 RFT tyres as exclusive factory equipment.
  • Bridgestone and Continental welcome Yokohama into a co-operative venture to develop run flat systems for passenger cars and SUVs.
  • Bridgestone Corporation and Continental AG, Germany sign a technical agreement to co-operate in developing run flat tyre systems.
  • Bridgestone and Continental announce a broadening of their collaboration in extended mobility systems at the Geneva Motor Show.

2003

  • Bridgestone begins delivering run flat tyres to BMW for the new 5-Series model range.

2004

  • Bridgestone shipments of run flat tyres top one million. Bridgestone has supplied more run flat tyres than any other tyre manufacturer.
  • BMW equips new 6-Series with Bridgestone RFT in Japan and North America.
  • Ferrari offers Bridgestone Potenza RE050 RFT tyres as optional equipment on the 612 Scaglietti.

2005

  • Bridgestone shipments of RFT top three million.
  • Bridgestone commercialises support ring-type run flat system

2006

  • Re-launch of Bridgestone's run flat system website

2007

  • Bridgestone develops new "cooling fin" technology for RFT in August.

The critical and commercial praise afforded Bridgestone's run flat tyre breakthrough gave birth to a whole new generation of Bridgestone tyres that have emerged as standard original equipment on a broad range of vehicles.

Today, the Bridgestone brand has more original equipment run-flat tyre fitments than any other tyre and, as Bridgestone's ever increasing list of original equipment run-flat applications indicates, what was once considered a novelty is now becoming the norm.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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