Bridgestone’s imminent partnership with online supermarket, Ocado, relies on a unique tyre offering for its home delivery fleet, which encompasses more than 1,500 vehicles.
In the company’s biggest UK van tyre fleet win to date, Bridgestone will supply its Blizzak W810 products for over 1,500 Ocado Mercedes Sprinters, which will stay on each vehicle throughout the year following rigorous internal testing. The company has secured the partnership until 2020, with maintenance across 20 different sites being provided by the Bridgestone Partner network, with its rapid response times to breakdowns cited as a major factor behind the decision.
Bridgestone’s National Fleet Executive, Neil Collison, said: “We have demonstrated the strength of our product to Ocado through a rigorous testing programme over a number of months. Our network is one of the strongest anywhere in the UK and provides a first-class service. This was also a key point which proved to be crucial.
“This is a huge fleet partnership for us, as we want to increase our presence in the van market and demonstrate our strength in this area. We have a top performing product range that can meet the demands of any fleet, and this is coupled with a holistic aftercare service all year round.”
Ocado opted for Bridgestone’s Blizzak W810 because it performed so well in all conditions and provided maximum payload for each van, thanks to it being such a light product.
Ocado’s Fleet Service Manager, Graham Thomas, said: “We hadn’t looked at changing our tyre supplier in the past, but we got to the stage where we wanted to understand the other options available on the market. Bridgestone impressed us from our first discussions as it had a team who paid particularly close attention to detail, and the weight of its Blizzak W810 product is ideal for us too, as it helps maintain maximum payload for our 3.5 tonne van fleet.
“The performance of the tyre was very good. Staying with a tyre all year round was desirable, following our own reviews and the nature of the journeys we make. The flexibility of the Bridgestone Partner network also worked well for us. When you work with local dealers you see real entrepreneurs at work, making sure each job is done to the very highest standard. This resonated with us.”
Stating the case for retread
Bridgestone’s belief in the commercial retread sector and continued investment in its range of products is beginning to reap dividends. The market is showing signs of a significant upturn in fortunes thanks to duties being placed on Chinese imports and due to the value for money that retread products represent, says the business.
Bridgestone’s North Region Truck & Bus Product Manager, Terry Salter, said that Bridgestone’s strategic decision to keep investing in retread technology during a particularly lean period could now be fully vindicated, with a significant investment in equipment being brought into the company’s UK franchised Bandag network and factories.
He said: “Throughout the very difficult climate, Bridgestone has stayed fully committed to its retread proposition and franchised Bandag network of retread factories. Our retread products underline our commitment to the ‘Total Tyre Care’ range of services. Each truck tyre features retreading technology built-into the original tyre design, with the life of every tyre maximised through audits, reports and tyre care husbandry.”