Keep­ing the wheels rolling

Bridge­stone and Honda team up on lo­cal de­vel­op­ment

Wheels (Australia) - - In Gear -

It’s uni­ver­sally ac­cepted that Aus­tralia has unique con­di­tions: huge vari­ances in cli­mate be­tween sea­sons and road con­di­tions that aren’t ex­actly the envy of the rest of the world.

For these rea­sons, car man­u­fac­tur­ers in­vest in lo­cal tech­ni­cal and en­gi­neer­ing de­part­ments – but most wouldn’t ex­pect to hear the same for tyre mak­ers. How­ever, you’d be sur­prised.

Bridge­stone places sig­nif­i­cance on en­sur­ing it has the right prod­ucts for the Aus­tralian mar­ket across its com­plete range: the low-rolling re­sis­tance Ecopia range, the Potenza per­for­mance range, Tu­ranza tour­ing line and Dueler prod­ucts for SUVS and 4x4s.

The iconic tyre brand con­ducts ex­ten­sive lo­cal test­ing, team­ing up with man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Honda to col­lab­o­rate on fu­ture prod­uct de­vel­op­ment.

The two Ja­panese pow­er­houses iden­ti­fied ar­eas where they could work to­gether on projects that will ul­ti­mately ben­e­fit Aus­tralian cus­tomers – through a de­mand­ing pro­gram see­ing two Honda CR-VS run around the clock in real-world lo­cal con­di­tions across a va­ri­ety of road, weather and traf­fic con­di­tions.

Bridge­stone’s fo­cus was on the de­vel­op­ment of fu­ture low rolling re­sis­tance Ecopia tyres – spe­cially de­signed to save mo­torists fuel, while Honda Aus­tralia used the op­por­tu­nity to gar­ner in­sights into ex­treme us­age pat­terns, rapid mileage ac­cu­mu­la­tion and dura­bil­ity of its lat­est 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo en­gine.

“Bridge­stone con­ducts ex­ten­sive test­ing in Aus­tralia, which di­rectly im­pacts the de­vel­op­ment of prod­ucts like our nextgen­er­a­tion low rolling re­sis­tance Ecopia prod­uct. The learn­ings from lo­cal test­ing is of huge ben­e­fit for Bridge­stone glob­ally, as well as our own cus­tomers,” said Bridge­stone Aus­tralia and New Zealand Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Stephen Roche.

“Work­ing with Honda Aus­tralia means we are in a great po­si­tion to en­sure we have su­pe­rior prod­ucts for the cus­tomers of to­mor­row.”

While Bridge­stone was fo­cused on tyre de­vel­op­ment, the test­ing regime for Honda pro­vided fur­ther in­sights into ve­hi­cle per­for­mance un­der lo­cal con­di­tions, com­ple­ment­ing R&D pro­grams al­ready con­ducted over­seas.

Bridge­stone and Honda’s global col­lab­o­ra­tions in­clude de­vel­op­ing orig­i­nal equip­ment (OE) tyres for the Honda Jazz, Civic and HR-V models, but the two brands’ lo­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion is proof of the im­por­tance placed on meet­ing the needs of Aus­tralian cus­tomers.

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