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Background
Fire­stone recalled 6.5M defec­tive tires, most­ly on Ford Explor­ers
Fire­stone chief Lampe dumped Ford after automak­er recalled 13M more tires
Lampe went on road to meet with deal­ers & appeared on “Mak­ing It Right” adver­tis­ing cam­paign
Says
“I’m just very opti­mistic that Fire­stone can be back to where it was a few years ago. We still have a ways to go. I won’t deny that. But I’m very encour­aged by the progress.” — John Lampe, Bridgestone/Firestone’s top US exec­u­tive
“Even in light of the recall, o1-in every 5-tire buy­ers con­sid­er the Fire­stone brand.” — Jeff Zupan­cic, JD Pow­er & Asso­ciates
“It (Indy 500 endorse­ment) would be very impor­tant at any time. But it showed even more con­fi­dence in the com­pa­ny that (race offi­cials) were will­ing to take that risk at a time when the brand had been tar­nished.” — Al Spey­er, Bridgestone/Firestone direc­tor of motor sports
“Basi­cal­ly, (Fire­stone) took an offen­sive strat­e­gy rather than a defen­sive strat­e­gy. The fact that it’s still in busi­ness seems to indi­cate they might have guessed the right way.” — Frank Car­mone, head of mar­ket­ing depart­ment at Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty
Significant Points
Indy 500 will show­case new Fire­stone Fire­hawk Indy 500 tire
Joins high-per­for­mance Affin­i­ty LH as new tires to hit mar­ket this year
GM & oth­er automak­ers remain com­mit­ted to Fire­stone
JD Pow­er says Fire­stone con­sumer con­fi­dence increas­ing
More impor­tant, Fire­stone did not lose a major deal­er
Situation
Fire­stone offi­cials see come­back in tire sales & con­sumer aware­ness
Expect prof­it in 2002 after los­ing $1.68B last year
Bridge­stone looked down­mar­ket to expand its appeal while rebuild­ing Fire­stone brand
Fire­stone still #2 behind Goodyear as OEM tire, accord­ing to Mod­ern Tire Deal­er
Bridge­stone OEM mar­ket share: 3.4% — 2001, 2.4% — 2000