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Bridgestone Wins First Supply Contract with Airbus

Will supply tires for A380 next-generation super jumbo jet

Bridgestone's Newly Developed Tire for the A380 Airbus

Tokyo (June 3, 2003)--Bridgestone Corporation announced today that it has concluded its first-ever contract to supply tires to Airbus S.A.S. The contract pertains to tires for the ultra-advanced A380, a next-generation super jumbo airliner. Bridgestone will begin supplying tires to Airbus for the nose and main landing gear of the A380 on the fourth quarter of 2005.

Airbus A380

The A380 Airbus, which will carry 555 passengers, is in the early stages of manufacturing. Airbus's plans call for the plane to go into commercial service in early 2006.

Bridgestone is creating new-generation aircraft tires for the A380. The tires will feature a newly developed belt structure, which will contain ultrahigh-strength cord and provide superior elasticity. Bridgestone's new belt structure will offer improvements in resisting external damage, in performing reliably even after sustaining external damage, in minimizing tire weight and in extending tire life by reducing wear.

A fully loaded A380 will weigh more than 560 tons. Its tires will need to support that weight through repeated takeoffs and landings at speeds of up to 370 kilometers per hour. Developing tires for the A380 has been an opportunity for Bridgestone to showcase comprehensive strengths in tire technology. They are the same strengths that underlie the company's continuing dominance in Formula One racing and in other motorsports.

"This contract is testimony to our success in meeting Airbus's most rigorous demands in regard to performance, quality and other criteria," says Hideki Inose, Bridgestone's Vice President and Officer, responsible for aircraft tire sales. "It is further acknowledgement of our competitive edge in advanced tire technology. That edge has enabled us to earn a 34% share of the global market for tires for large and medium-sized airliners."

Bridgestone manufactures new tires for aircraft at its Kurume Plant, in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Bridgestone Group companies operate four retreading plants for aircraft tires in the United States, Belgium, Hong Kong and Tokyo. That geographical reach positions the Bridgestone Group to provide global support to customers in the aviation industry.

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world's largest manufacturer of tires and other rubber products. Tires account for 80 percent of Bridgestone Group sales worldwide. The company also manufactures industrial rubber and chemical products, sporting goods, and other diversified products. It sells its tires and other products in more than 150 nations.