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Bridgestone said it provided over 80 new original equipment (OE) fitments to 13 car manufacturers across about 30 vehicle models in 2020.

Customers included Lamborghini, Maserati, Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Ineos Automotive. 

The supplier said it had continuously grown its OE business in recent years thanks to innovation, agility and expertise.

Proprietary virtual tyre modelling technology reducing the number of physical prototype tyres and overall volume of raw materials used in testing, the "revolutionary" lightweight Enliten technology appeared on Volkswagen's ID.3 EV and around 30% of OE fitments throughout the year were designed exclusively for electric vehicles.

Enliten enables tyres with a rolling resistance up to 30% lower than a premium summer tyre – lowering fuel consumption or extending battery life – and also reduces weight by up to 20%. This requires up to 2kg less raw material.

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By GlobalData

Enliten has since been made available in 10 fitments used by various manufacturers for models such as VW's ID.4 SUV and its new Golf 8.

Bridgestone claimed to be choice for BMW, Audi, Seat and Toyota while continuing to serve as primary supplier for manufacturers including VW, Skoda and Mercedes. 

Over 60% of the OE launches in 2020 were within the HRD+ (18" and above) segment, reflecting growing consumer demand for larger tyre sizes. 

The virtual modelling enables creation of a digital twin of the tyre at its development stage, reducing the volume of physical prototype tyres – and subsequently raw materials – needed, and cutting development time by up to half.

Thanks to this, 20% fewer experimental tyres were used in the development of OE tyres in EMIA compared with 2019. The technology and the rise of indoor testing reduced the distance of OE fleet tests by 25%. 

All OE summer and all season tyres launched in 2020 had an average decrease in mass of approximately 10%. 

Bridgestone worked with Lamborghini for the first time last year, as exclusive supplier for the Huracan supercar, delivering custom-developed Potenza Sport tyres that maximised the car's track level performance for road users. 

It also developed bespoke Potenza Sport tyres for long-time customer Maserati's MC20 supercar.. The supplier also worked with Ineos Automotive whose Grenadier 4WD, now to be built in France instead of Wales, will go on sale with Dueler A/T 001 tyres as standard early in 2022.    

Steven De Bock, VP consumer replacement and OE, said: "2020 was about looking at all of our projects – from start to finish – through a sustainability lens first and foremost. By making conscious efforts to use fewer raw materials, develop and apply our virtual tyre development technology wherever possible, and install the sustainable tyre technologY we're working on, like Enliten, on more and more tyres, we've made great progress on this journey over the past 12 months.

"We're pushing the boundaries of what is possible in engineering to deliver new cutting edge products that are developed in more sustainable ways to offer an increasingly sustainable performance."