NEW YORK, NY Ten months after its blockbuster purchase of the privately-held retread franchising business Bandag and a few weeks after the official merging of its truck tire and retreading operations, Bridgestone unveiled its newly named Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS) business unit to dealers, distributors and press gathered here for the annual BizCon meeting.
The public unveiling of the new tire powerhouse included the introduction of the new president for the new president, its new home and its strategy for going to market.
Saul Solomon, who joined Bridgestone/Firestone in 1993 as general counsel rising to vice president and general counsel of Bridgestone Americas Holding by 2000, was introduced as president of the new group. Having previously led a transition team during Bridgestone Americas’ 2007 merger with Bandag, Incorporated, he went on to serve as chairman, CEO and president of Bridgestone Bandag, LLC beginning June 1, 2007.
BBTS will be operating out of the former headquarters Bandag in Muscatine, Iowa, however, the sales and marketing functions will be run out of Bridgestone’s Nashville headquarters and will be headed by long-time Bridgestone executive Singh Alhuwalia. He assumes the role of president, sales and marketing for BBTS.
BBTS officials stressed that the four company brands will retain their unique identities and continue to be marketed under their current mix of channels. But the goal of the restructuring is to be able to provide fleets with an integrated solution that includes both new tires and retreads for all types of customers. The Bridgestone brand will remain the premium offering with Firestone provided as a lower priced option and Dayton set up to provide an answer to the onslaught of low-priced off shore products. Bandag will continue with its franchise set up.
The integration has also changed the way the new company will set up its regional sales. Whereas before the integration North America was divided into four regions Canada and the US North Central, Southeast and West it is now divided into 8 regions: Canada (directed by Jim West) and the US Northeast, North Central, Great Lakes, Southeast, Southcentral, Southwest and Northwest.
“Virtually every time we asked our dealers what we could do to deliver more value, the answer was consistently the same. We needed to be more fleet focused and less concerned with filling our dealer’s shelves. More time with the fleets, less time with the dealers,” said Art Campagnoni, vice president, North American Commercial Sales for Truck and Bus. “We listened. We took action.”
Each sales region will consist of dealer sales managers, regional fleet sales managers, and territory sales managers reporting to the regional fleet sales managers.
This structure is flatter and more focused. It isn’t focused on just achieving sales numbers. It is focused on providing bundled solutions to fleet customers that buy these products and services from you,” Campagnoni told the dealers in attendance.
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