Keeping the wheels rolling

Bridgestone and Honda team up on local development

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.