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Bridgestone to Supply Tires for the Entire Airbus Line

Airbus will fit Bridgestone tires as original equipment on all its aircraft models, in addition to A380 under development

Tokyo (November 5, 2003)- Bridgestone Corporation announced today that Airbus has certified Bridgestone tires for factory installation on all its aircraft models: the long-range A330 and A340 families, the A300-600, and the single-aisle family, which comprises the A318, A319, A320 and A321. In addition, Bridgestone will develop new-generation tires for installation on the A340-500 and A340-600 models.

Bridgestone is also working on new-generation tires for the A380, which is, now under development. Airbus and Bridgestone signed the supply contract for the A380 tires in June 2003.

The pace and scope of Bridgestone tire deliveries to Airbus will depend on the specifications indicated by airlines in ordering aircraft. But management at Bridgestone expects to earn orders for fitments on the full range of Airbus models.

Bridgestone has supplied airlines with new and retreaded replacement tires for Airbus models since 1982. Now, the supply arrangement with the aircraft manufacturer promises to broaden Bridgestone's presence greatly in this product sector. Supplying Airbus with tires for multiple models will position Bridgestone to expand and upgrade its product and service offerings in the replacement market, too.

Only a handful of tire manufacturers can fulfill the performance demands posed by passenger airliners. The tires must withstand repeated takeoffs and landings under the immense loads of the big aircraft. Aircraft tires are therefore a showcase for tire manufacturers' overall technological capabilities.

In this intensely competitive market, Bridgestone estimates that its market share amounts to about one-third of total demand. The company manufactures new aircraft tires at its Kurume Plant in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It operates aircraft tire retreading plants at another site in Japan and in the United States, Belgium and Hong Kong. Bridgestone provides airlines with seamless, global support for all of their product and maintenance needs in tires.

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.