THE NEW BRIDGESTONE TOURING: PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY ON WET ROADS
Bridgestone Turanza T005
A tire destined to open a new phase in the premium segment, developed in line with the most important driver needs in terms of safety. Braking and cornering in wet conditions are among the strengths of the new Turanza T005.
The new Bridgestone Turanza T005 will make its appearance on the European market in January 2018, destined to replace, not only the current T001 EVO range but also to kick off a new important phase, which will result in a progressive streamlining of Bridgestone’s portfolio of products. As Stefano Parisi, managing director of Bridgestone South Europe, explained during the T005’s official European launch that took place in Greece in September: "Bridgestone Turanza T005 will rationalize our offer in the premium segment, by 2019 it will be available in more of 140 sizes for 14'' to 21'' rims, so as to cover just about all the market’s demands, SUVs and city cars included. At the same time, Bridgestone will immediately simplify the range of touring tires, covering the entire segment with our Turanza T005 and DriveGuard. Moreover, the DriveGuard range could, in the near future, become part of the Turanza family."
DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE END USER FOR THE END USER
Developed and produced in Europe, the T005 is therefore a turning point in the Group's strategy, and precisely because of this, it was subjected of a lengthy and important market research and development process. "Developed in collaboration with the end user for the end user" is in fact the claim that accompanies the launch, which recalls the vast market survey conducted in 6 European countries on 25,000 motorists using premium tires. Thanks to this survey Bridgestone was able to identify both needs and expectations as well as some of the greatest difficulties encountered on a daily basis by most European motorists.
Working on the benefits expected by the customers, the research and development team identified a number of initial ideas which were then tested by the consumers themselves, thus refining the central concepts of the project in order to meet the end user’s emotional expectations: safety, driving pleasure, brand reliability. On the road, the T005 highlighted the values or markings reported in the EU label: performance in wet conditions and rolling resistance were clearly indicated as critical factors in the choice of premium tire, besides durability (consumers expect to be able to use a Touring product for at least 2 years).
A further analysis identified the most dangerous driving situations, at least according to the drivers, shedding light on what is meant by "safety", i.e. what are the most important characteristics when driving on wet roads. Two key factors emerged: braking distance and cornering in wet conditions, both deemed essential in ensuring perfect driving control in all conditions.
In summary, premium tires are expected to makes you feel safe, but at the same time they are also required to offer an enjoyable ride. A tire that makes you feel in control in any driving situation - especially in the event of rain - and that reduces fuel consumption. The Turanza T005 development team gave itself the target of meeting all these expectations, guaranteeing a consistent driving control even in the most difficult conditions, whether driving on motorways or braking suddenly in city traffic.
WET GRIP AND SAFETY
Bridgestone engineers have used high quality materials combined with a particular tread design to achieve the wet performance levels that sets the T005 apart from the pack. The tread pattern and optimal land/sea ratio in the central part for perfect water drainage. The new shoulder tread blocks design offer several advantages: superior contact pressure and higher resistance to deformation improving mileage and reducing braking distance. In addition, the tread blocks in the central area have chamfers specifically designed to prevent the deformations generated by blocks with sharp edges in order to eliminate turbulence and favour water drainage in wet conditions thus improving braking performance. The development of the casing, aimed at reducing rolling resistance and increasing driving comfort, focused on the use of new materials and on the structure of the sidewall. Furthermore, thanks to Bridgestone’s patented NanoPro-Tech™ technology, the high percentage of silica in the compound helps maximize wet stability, reducing tire wear and saving fuel.
Bridgestone in-house testing confirms the all-round improved performance of Turanza T005 compared to the current Turanza T001 EVO3: approximately 10% longer working life, meeting and even going beyond drivers’ expectations, with significantly improved wet cornering as well as braking and rolling resistance in every condition. TÜV SÜD's tests also confirm that the new T005 is the best on the market for wet cornering and braking. But above all, the European labelling system testifies to the results achieved by the new T005, which is on the market with an A for wet braking and a B for low rolling resistance - but the range can also boast products with A/A performance levels.
IN A QUEST FOR LEADERSHIP THROUGH DISTRIBUTION STRATEGIES
The launch event of the Turanza T005 in Athens was also the perfect opportunity for Bridgestone to take a good look at the Group's strategies together with its official distributors. To date, the Group is sinking money in increasing its production capacity in Europe, allocating 350 million euro for the next five years to meet peak demand, with a further 100 million invested in storage capacity.
As explained by Paolo Ferrari, President and Chief Operating Officer of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, the Group is going through a transformation in its quest to become "leaders in all sectors without rivals", and for this reason investments concern every area, innovation, product, as well as brand image, distribution network and services. Product distribution will be a key point in future strategies, enhancing team work in three main areas: data availability, with a shared marketing package and online real time assistance; expanding the distribution network; and finally, a closer collaboration with the Partners, thanks to direct training and sales tools based on customer data.