Bridgestone Launches Mobile Tire and Vehicle Service
Firestone Direct Program is Currently Available in Four Markets
Bridgestone Americas Inc. is launching a mobile tire and vehicle service for consumers and fleets under the Firestone Direct name. The service - currently available through Bridgestone company-owned stores in four metro markets - will offer tire installation and repair, as well as oil changes, brake work and other services.
Bridgestone intends to extend the service to other major markets throughout the U.S. by 2023.
The roll-out of Firestone Direct represents “our first real push into the market with a dedicated mobile service solution, reaching across multiple states in multiple markets,” says Davis Adams, senior communications manager, Bridgestone. (The tire manufacturer “initially piloted a mobile service van concept a couple of years ago.”)
Firestone Direct is currently available in the Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga., markets, as well as the Orlando and Tampa, Fla., markets.
“Nashville began as a pilot program in July and developed into a full-fledged business in the second half of 2020,” says Davis. “We expanded in Atlanta in November and have launched into central Florida this month. These markets had a critical mass of customers and Bridgestone Retail Operations locations.
“We plan to continue our expansion over the next several months, with plans to be in major markets across the entire country” by 2023.
Firestone Direct “uses custom-designed and specially equipped vans operated by certified technicians to perform a wide range of maintenance services, including fluid and filter changes, tire repair and replacement, battery check and replacement and more,” according to a statement from Bridgestone, issued on March 24.
Each Firestone Direct van “functions as its own company-owned store,” says Davis, with its “own store number. The vans start and finish their days at a store, where they procure any tires/fluids they might need for their upcoming appointments and also recycle any used materials at the end of the day.
“For now, the vans are connected to our company-owned stores for this, but we’re always exploring how we can bring more value to our customers in the future.”
When asked if Bridgestone will make Firestone Direct available to its network of independent tire dealers, Davis replied, “We don’t have information to share at this point.
“Firestone Direct is one of our consumer-facing mobility solutions, focused on expanding the value proposition offered by our stores and products. There’s no doubt that the last year has accelerated customer demand for at-home services and deliveries, but this is also a trend that we see growing into the future.”
To promote the service, Bridgestone has created a Firestone Direct website. The tiremaker also will drive awareness through marketing and PR campaigns and its company-owned stores.
“The only requirements for service are a clean and flat surface with enough clearance to access and lift the vehicle, such as a driveway or parking lot,” according to Bridgestone officials.
“Firestone Direct vans employ leading-edge technologies, including a vacuum-style oil collection system that draws used oil from the engine through the dipstick port to minimize the potential for spills. The vans also employ tools to optimize space and efficiency, such as compact and digital tire balancing systems for rotations and replacement."