Bridgestone excited about Indian tyre industry prospects.
Naoto Yamagishi, Managing Director of Bridgestone Asia Pacific Technical Centre headquartered in Thailand, believes that a lot of the action is happening in the automotive arena in India. With India projected to produce over five million cars by 2020 the country is well on its way to become the third largest market after China and the US.
According to Naoto Yamagishi, these numbers augur well for Bridgestone which is keen on growing its tyre business here from its plants in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
“India will do more R&D work in the future. We are expanding our business and need to step this up,” says Yamagishi. His India counterpart, Kazuhiko Mimura, is equally upbeat about the road ahead. “From our top management’s point of view, India is one of the most important markets,” he says.
Going forward, it will become even more relevant for Bridgestone’s global targets and vision in the coming years. India is comfortably ahead of the rest in Asia-Pacific where the likes of Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines report lower car sales since they are smaller markets. In addition, India is the world’s largest two-wheeler market, a segment Bridgestone recently made a foray into.
It was also some weeks ago when the company launched Firestone, which Mimura terms “a legendary and great brand of Bridgestone” with its roots in the US. “We are proud to launch it in India as it will cater to a wider variety of customers seeking value for money,” he says. With its wide mix of vehicles on the road right from two-wheelers to cars and trucks, India’s complexities also translate into a lot of opportunities.