Bridgestone Posts First Quarter Gains

May 13, 2024

Despite a challenging environment, Bridgestone Corp. achieved around $6.6 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2024.

That gain represents a 102% year-over-year increase.

Bridgestone, as a whole, also posted around $769 million in adjusted operating profit, up significantly from 1Q 2023 levels.

In the Americas, Bridgestone achieved revenue of slightly more than $3.1 billion, which represents a 6% increase over the same three-month period last year.

Passenger tire demand

In North America specifically, Bridgestone reports that demand for original equipment (OE) passenger tires during 1Q 2024 stayed at the “same level as prior-year" and was “solid.”

The North American OE, high-diameter passenger tire sub-segment experienced growth in demand versus 1Q 2023 levels, “on the back of the shift to large vehicles,” according to Bridgestone officials.

On the replacement passenger tire side, sell-in levels within North America were “at almost the same level” as they were during 1Q 2023, while demand for high-diameter passenger tires continued to grow.

The first quarter of 2024 was marked by “a thorough focus on premium tires, linked with the expansion” of Bridgestone’s ENLITEN technology, according to Bridgestone officials.

TBR deep-dive

In the OE channel, demand for TBR tires in North America saw a “significant decrease versus prior-year, resulting from delays in some OEMs’ production plans, in addition the stabilized demand, which increased to respond to back-orders caused by the semi-conductor shortage,” which lasted until 2023.

The North American replacement TBR tire channel benefited from “slow recovery of sell-out,” as well as a normalization of “distribution inventory.” Specifically, the Bridgestone brand benefited from “steady sales expansion versus prior year... mainly for fleet business,” while the Firestone brand, which is “mainly for dealers,” experienced “a drastic drop in sales due to the impact of dealer inventory reduction and the challenges in optimizing the balance between volume and value.”

OTR power

On a global basis, demand for ultra-large OTR tires during the first quarter of 2024 matched 1Q 2023 levels, while demand for large OTR tires declined slightly versus the same period last year “due to the drop of OE vehicle production, mainly in Asia, despite partial recovery” of replacement channel sales.

Meanwhile, Bridgestone secured the “same levels” of small OTR tire sales as last year, according to company officials.

In summary

“Specialty tires, centered on off-the-road tires for mining vehicles,” and replacement premium passenger tires, “drove” Bridgestone’s performance during the first three months of 2024

Bridgestone officials report that the “business environment remains challenging” mainly due to TBR tire demand in North America and Europe.

The Tokyo, Japan-based company’s stated priorities for the rest of the year include staying “attentive and lean in the challenging business environment,” while executing what it calls “stage two of rebuilding.”

Further focus will be placed on the “premium tire business,” including share gains and improved sales/mix.