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Bridgestone / Firestone's reputation takes a beating

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The Firestone name took a pounding in 2000. After a strong first half, sales of the Firestone brand dropped off significantly.

The brand entered the year with a 10.5% share of the replacement passenger tire market; it ended the year with a 9.5% share, according to Modern Tire Dealer's 2001 Facts Issue.

Not surprisingly, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s reputation in the wake of the recall has suffered. The company doesn't fare well in Fortune magazine's annual lists of America's most and least admired companies.

Out of 535 companies rated, Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) ranked 529th. The rank is based on the scores received only from respondents in the company's industry, according to the magazine.

BFS fared worse in the second annual corporate reputation survey published by Harris Interactive Inc., an Internet-based market research firm. Based on more than 26,000 respondents, the survey lists BFS as having "the worst reputation in America." Ford Motor Co. was the lowest-rated automobile manufacturer.

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