WARWICK, England—Bridgestone has secured a $110 million tire supply contract with transport operator FirstGroup.
The five-year deal is FirstGroup's first international procurement agreement for direct goods or services and Bridgestone's largest commercial fleet contract, according to a statement from the tire maker.
Under the contract, Bridgestone will supply tires to more than 60,000 of FirstGroup's buses and coaches in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. This covers all of its vehicles in the U.K. and around 80 percent of its operations in the other two countries.
This is a "hugely significant" announcement for the whole team, according to Greg Ward, commercial sales director for Bridgestone.
"To win the contract, we needed to demonstrate our value and ability to deliver on a global level in order to stave off stiff competition from a rival premium tire manufacturer," Ward said. Bridgestone, he added, "demonstrated an ability to act as a global company with a 'one team' philosophy, meaning that the geographical distance between our U.S. and U.K. teams was never an issue."
In negotiating the contract, Bridgestone had to show it could meet specific needs of the fleet, which will predominantly run on UAP-001 tires, featuring different tread patterns unique to each market.
"Many organizations—whilst global in nature—retain a regionalized market focus but Bridgestone were able to engage with FirstGroup on a global basis, enabling us to leverage our size and scale," said Glen Lovett, group procurement manager for FirstGroup.
"This agreement will provide the flexibility that we need to manage a huge fleet of vehicles on both sides of the Atlantic, including our local buses, coach services, and school transportation," added Lovett, commenting in a Bridgestone release.