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Treading softly: Bridgestone makes cuts as pandemic causes drop in tyre demand

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Stock: A worker stacks tyres at Bridgestone’s Tokyo warehouse

Stock: A worker stacks tyres at Bridgestone’s Tokyo warehouse

Bloomberg

Stock: A worker stacks tyres at Bridgestone’s Tokyo warehouse

Tyre company Bridgestone will cut about 200bn yen (€1.6bn) of spending this year and issue a forecast that assumes another wave of Covid-19 infections in the coming months, CEO Shuichi Ishibashi said.

Half of the reductions will come from reduced advertising and events, and another half from fewer investments this year, he said. The Japanese firm withdrew its outlook in May but is planning to issue a new forecast when it reports first-half results on Friday.

Consumers across the globe are travelling less and buying fewer cars, forcing the 89-year-old company to contend with falling tyre demand and price competition. Even so, Mr Ishibashi is counting on steering the world's largest tyre manufacturer through the crisis in anticipation of a recovery, with the global market projected to expand 8.4pc annually through 2024, led by Asia dominating output and consumption, according to Goldstein Market Intelligence.

"It's critical to imagine the worst situation," said Mr Ishibashi, 66, who became CEO in March. "We'll review everything, be cash-oriented and control resources, including operating and capital expenditures globally."

Rather than just selling tyres, Bridgestone is shifting its focus to offering solutions, such as using driving data collected from tyres. It also has plans to offer services that predict when tyres are likely to wear.

Bloomberg

Irish Independent