Bridgestone Americas Renames Company Operations

Mark Emkes, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Nashville, Tenn., announced a plan to rename the company's operations effective Jan. 1, 2009.

“Today we are announcing that we will be renaming our companies in a way that will clearly define Bridgestone Americas and its subsidiaries as members of the global Bridgestone Group,” Emkes said. “Through this effort we will provide Firestone with its own identity as a historic product and service brand, and we will take a long step forward toward eliminating confusion as to our overall corporate identity.”

The company released to its teammates in the Americas an extensive list of corporate name changes to be implemented at the beginning of 2009. Examples of the changes include:

  • Bridgestone Americas Holding, the parent company of the Bridgestone Group's tire operations in the Americas, will be changed to Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
  • Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire will be renamed Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, and will be a part of the larger business unit also known as Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, a newly established operating unit announced recently.
  • BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, Bridgestone Americas' retail tire and automotive service unit and the operator of the well-known Firestone Complete Auto Care and Tires Plus outlets, will be known as Bridgestone Retail Operations.
  • Bridgestone Firestone Latin American Tire Operations will be known as the Latin American Tire division, BATO.
  • Bridgestone Americas' international subsidiaries will also be renamed to focus on membership in the Bridgestone family of companies, for example, Bridgestone Firestone de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. will be known as Bridgestone de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. and Bridgestone Firestone Canada will be renamed Bridgestone Canada.

Bridgestone Americas also announced an exception to this naming convention related to its diversified products businesses. Effective Jan. 1, 2009, BFS Diversified Products, which does business as Bridgestone Firestone Diversified Products, will be renamed Firestone Diversified Products. Since most of that company's subsidiaries already carry the Firestone name, there will be no further name changes in that organization.

In discussing the exception, Emkes stated, “The name 'Firestone' is at the core of our diversified products operation; not only is the brand representative of products and services, it is also the identity by which the diversified products customers connect with that business. Therefore, in order to be fully responsive to our diversified products customers and avoid confusion, we are highlighting the Firestone name in this business unit.”

In the restructuring of its Americas tire operations, the company announced that Asahiko “Duke” Nishiyama will lead the new unit, which will be named Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). Reporting into this unit will be the company's Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. Nishiyama will continue to report to Emkes.