London - Bridgestone Corp. has supplanted Michelin as the world's largest tyre maker, based on its own double-digit sales growth last year and a shift in currency values.
The Japanese company ended a four-year run by France's Michelin as the world's biggest tyre manufacturer, based on 2005 sales, in the European Rubber Journal 2006 Global Tyre Company Rankings. Goodyear ranked No. 3, but closed the gap on the two larger companies.
Bridgestone's move was helped by an 11.6-percent gain in tyre division sales over 2005 compared with Michelin's 3.6-percent improvement. Bridgestone also benefited slightly from a change in the yen/dollar exchange rate, while the euro/dollar rate was unchanged from 2004 to 2005.
The company's position is further consolidated by its ownership stake in BRISA/Bridgestone-Sabanci Tire Mfg. in Turkey, which posted sales of $432.2 million in 2005.
Based on fiscal 2005 results, ERJ estimates Bridgestone's tyre-related sales at $18 300 million, against. Michelin's $17 900 million and Goodyear's $17 500 million.
Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. surged ahead of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. while Kumho Tire Co. Inc. moved ahead of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. into positions 8 and 10 respectively.
ERJ will publish the fulll table in its European Tyre Repot issue, due out 14 September.
From Rubber & Plastics News (A Crain publication)