Also on his watch is the site in Ulyanovsk, Russia, where Bridgestone has just completed the construction of a new €340-million tire-plant.
With the facility expected to roll out around 12,000 units a day by 2018 – mainly winter tires for the Russia/CIS market – Ferrari sees this as “a great opportunity to extend our manufacturing capacity in EMEA.”
The Russian plant, said Ferrari, will raise Bridgestone’s overall competitiveness, by increasing its capacity to develop and produce winter tires and to service this market.
The CEO, who led Pirelli’s Latin America division prior to his current job, said the investment underlines Bridgestone’s ambitions in Europe. The Japanese company, he stated, is gaining market-share and “outpacing industry growth” with an annual rate of 7% unit increase across passenger car and industrial tires.
“We have an ambitious, but achievable, plan for growth: we want to grow market-share in every segment, with a specific focus on higher mix,” said Ferrari.
Ferrari, who will, in addition to his current position, become a Bridgestone vice president and senior officer of Bridgestone Corp. as of next year, appreciates that the European business still has a long way to go to achieve its goals.
“Bridgestone is the leader in the world but a challenger in Europe. We fully accept the challenge this creates as it is what our goal for ‘dan-totsu’ is all about,” he said, referring to Bridgestone’s stated ambition to be the clear leader in every market in which it competes.
To achieve that goal, Bridgestone will invest across the board: from R&D resources and offer-development to manufacturing footprint and skills across the EMEA region.
In the PCR [passenger car radials] market, Ferrari believes that Bridgestone is “relatively underrepresented compared to the value of our brand, our technology and our portfolio.” Likewise, he said, “We have a solid [TBR] market-share position, but again, I think we have room to grow further.”
Progress, Ferrari expects, will be driven by Bridgestone’s development work in areas such as extended mobility and integrated tire systems.