About Bridgestone & Firestone tyres

In 2015, Kiwis gave the Canstar Blue award for customer satisfaction to Bridgestone Tyres. You can view the survey results here.

The Bridgestone Corporation is the biggest tyre manufacturer in the world and their tyres are used in cars, trucks, buses, construction and mining vehicles, agricultural machinery, aircraft and motorbikes. They also manufacture car parts, construction materials, and even bicycles. In 1988, they merged with Firestone.

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Bridgestone & Firestone in New Zealand

Bridgestone New Zealand Ltd was founded in 1998 following the merger of the Bridgestone and Firestone tyre companies. Bridgestone produced the first tyres in New Zealand and is now the only tyre manufacturer in New Zealand. Bridgestone New Zealand Limited also has three retread factories that produce quality commercial retreads.

The Papanui factory is one of the biggest employers in the Christchurch area and a significant contributor to the community and economy. The factory opened in 1947 and today it produces Bridgestone, Firestone and Supercat tyres.

You can choose the right tyre for your car using their online tool or by visiting your nearest Bridgestone & Firestone tyre store. They sell car tyres, fuel-efficient tyres, 4WD tyres, and commercial tyres.

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History of Bridgestone tyres

Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd was founded by Shojiro Ishibashi in 1931 in Japan as the child of his previous company. Ishibashi adapted the English translation of his name’s meaning, “stone bridge”, in naming his company. Ishibashi’s previous company had begun making Bridgestone tyres in 1930 and the companies separated as the tyre business took off. In 1984, the company was renamed Bridgestone Corporation.

In 1951, Bridgestone became the first company in Japan to sell rayon cord tyres, and in 1953 the company’s sales were in excess of ten billion yen, which made them the top tyre manufacturer in Japan at the time. In 1967, the company produced its first radial tyre, the RD10. In 1978, the company introduced its Super Filler Radial tyre, and in 1979 the POTENZA radial tyre was introduced, named after an Italian word for power.

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History of Firestone tyres and merger with Bridgestone

The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded by Harvey Samuel Firestone in Ohio in 1900. Firestone was one of the first global manufacturers of car tyres. “Firestone” was the English translation of his family’s German name, “Feuerstein”.

In 1988, Bridgestone Corporation purchased Firestone for $2.6 billion. With the two companies’ operations combined, they now had the world’s largest tire and rubber company.


Bridgestone is arguably the most globally present of the major tyre manufacturers, with facilities on nearly every continent. The Bridgestone Corporation operates 179 production facilities in 25 countries.

Bridgestone’s head office is in Brussells, Belgium, and the company’s presence is strongest in Europe. The UK is the only main market where Bridgestone does not maintain any factories, but they do have a technical inspection centre in Coventry.

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