Nashville, Tennessee – Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. has announced that it will restructure its Americas tire operations, effective January 1, 2009. The new unit will be named Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO); the company’s Latin American tire operations, and the Canadian and U.S. consumer and commercial tire businesses will report to the unit.

BATO will be led by Asahiko “Duke” Nishiyama, who will report to Bridgestone Americas Holding president and CEO Mark A. Emkes.

“This new structure will allow us to provide even greater focus on our overall tire business in the Americas, and it will align us more closely with the regional business model that Bridgestone Corporation is promoting for all of its global tire operations,” Emkes said. “The structure we are introducing today will also reflect the Bridgestone Group’s desire for global standardization in the way we go to market, providing our international customers a consistent business model that they can rely on, regardless of their geographic region.”

Emkes also said that the realignment will “help us eliminate confusion on a global scale, provide for enhanced synergies, and allow us to be even more responsive to evolving customer needs. We all know that we as an industry have a great deal of hard work ahead of us in the face of an extremely challenging financial environment. It is my belief that these changes will help Bridgestone Americas enhance its focus on our core business, tires, and assist us in weathering those challenges, allowing us to emerge even stronger whenever the global economy recovers.”

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