Bridgestone to Acquire TireConnect Systems

Bolt-on investment will allow Bridgestone to offer an industry-leading online tire sales and ecommerce platform to nationwide network of dealers

NASHVILLE, TN, Oct. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) today announced it will acquire TireConnect Systems (TireConnect), a software company that supports tire dealers and distributors in North America (primarily Canada) with a turn-key, online tire sales tool featuring ecommerce capabilities. The acquisition, which is expected to close within 30 days of this announcement, will allow Bridgestone, its dealer network and distributors to better meet the needs of today's digitally-minded consumers by providing a simple and fully-integrated tire buying experience from online to in-store.

"At Bridgestone, we constantly look for new ways to grow our business, while also empowering and growing the businesses of our dealers," said John Baratta, president, consumer replacement, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. "As the world's largest tire and rubber company, we know that we need to be active and aggressive in the increasingly digital marketplace. The acquisition of TireConnect will allow Bridgestone to create a direct path to online tire buying that collectively benefits our dealers, distributors and consumers."

The TireConnect software tool allows dealers to get full credit for online tire sales, while also remaining in control of their inventory, pricing and labor/installation costs. A plug-and-play solution, the TireConnect tool works with Bridgestone dealers' current websites, providing a seamless research and purchasing experience between consumers and their preferred local dealers. The tool also improves efficiency, saves time and delivers enhanced speed-to-market for dealers and distributors.

Founded in 2012, TireConnect offers a unique B2B and B2C online tire sales solution to more than a dozen customers with nearly 600 points of sale across Canada and the U.S. Company leaders George Silagadze and Chance Harrington will join Bridgestone as part of the acquisition. As a result, Bridgestone will expand the reach of the TireConnect software platform to more dealers.

"We are excited that Bridgestone chose to acquire TireConnect and establish it as a digital and ecommerce solution for its dealers," said Silagadze. "This move demonstrates the company's ongoing commitment to its customers and end-user consumers, and we look forward to working together to further enhance the tire buying experience."

The Bridgestone TireConnect online sales and ecommerce solution will be available to Bridgestone dealers and distributors in the first quarter of 2016.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

SOURCE Bridgestone

For further information: Media Center, 877-201-2373

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