Bridgestone Corporation is a Japanese rubber conglomerate founded in 1931 in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a literal translation and transposition of ishibashi, meaning "stone bridge" in Japanese. The name was chosen believing that Americans would respond better to an English-sounding brand.
Bridgestone's first overseas plant after the end of the second world war was opened in Singapore in 1965, and another opened in Thailand in 1969. In 1967 Bridgestone America opened in the United States.
In 1983 the company purchased a plant in Tennessee from Firestone which was its first manufacturing plant in North America, and started the production of Radial tires for Trucks and Buses . In 1988 Bridgestone purchased Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and acquired brought a large number of production sites in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and other locations.
Today the company is one of the world's largest tire manufacturers and its subsidiaries produce automotive and commercial vehicle tires, as well as tires for the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies also produce air springs, roofing materials, synthetic rubber and industrial fibers and textiles and operate the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. At the end of 2005, production facilities belonging to the Bridgestone Group numbered 141 in twenty-four countries.
At the close of 2006 Bridgestone purchased Bandag, Incorporated, a major re-treading company.
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