NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 11, 2009) — Bridgestone Americas Inc. is phasing out its Gillette associate brand and rebadging its Winterforce brand a Firestone line as part of a refining of its product portfolio.
The Gillette brand dates back to the early part of the 20th century and the Gillette Rubber Co. of Eau Claire, Wis.
Bridgestone Americas predecessor Bridgestone/Firestone bought the rights to the Gillette brand in 1997 from Gillette Tire Co. of Milford, Mich., along with the Peerless brand. Gillette Tire had acquired the brand name in the mid-1980s.
Bridgestone is offering a limited range of Gillette passsenger and light truck tires until supplies run out, the company said.
The Peerless brand continues, marketed by Denver-based retailer Peerless Tyre Co. throughout its seven-state distribution area, and by Bridgestone in areas outside of Peerless Tyre's marketing area.
Bridgestone launched the Winterforce winter tire line in 2003.
Bridgestone's other associate brands are Dayton, Fuzion and Lemans, the latter distributed through the company's retail store network only. Three years ago Bridgestone phased out the Road King brand and introduced the Primewell brand — made by Singapore-based GITI Tire Co. Ltd. at its plants in China — as an entry-level product.