BRUSSELS (Sept. 28, 2010)—Bridgestone Corp. is revamping the brand structure of its retreading activities in Europe, establishing “Bridgestone Retread”—based on Bridgestone new tire treads and compounds—as its premium retread brand.
Bridgestone Retread will replace the firm's “Qualitread” range, which will be phased out progressively, the firm said. Bridgestone Retread will focus on providing the newest Bridgestone treads and compounds to the long haul, pan-European transport sector, with an emphasis on cost-per-mile and mileage contracts.
The Bandag Premium Application-Specific range will be priced just below Bridgestone Retread and above the Bandag Standard line-up, which will be strengthened with the addition of Bridgestone patterns, the company said. The Qualitread product/program was Bridgestone's branded retread product prior to its buying Bandag Inc. in 2006.
Bridgestone is rolling out seven new products this year, five Bridgestone patterns and two unique designs, according to Steven Janssens, senior manager in Bridgestone's new Retread Franchise Operations unit.
Bridgestone-Bandag has more than 140 franchised dealers in Europe, including Qualitread dealers who have been converted since the merger, and plans to continue expanding the network. Bridgestone bought Bandag, the world's leading retread brand, in 2006, but the European operations did not pass fully to Bridgestone Europe until 2008.
Since then, all Bandag core operations have been fully integrated in the Bridgestone Europe organization, with sales and field staff integrated in Bridgestone national sales companies.