The Bridgestone Group currently operates 179 production facilities* located in 25 countries. We locate factories close to our customers so that we can manufacture and deliver products to the exact quality and performance standards that they demand. We have also taken advantage of our global network to construct a worldwide distribution organization in order to optimize the supply of products for which demand is rising, such as high-performance passenger car tyres.
We have also empowered the companies of the Bridgestone Group to enhance the quality assurance systems located throughout the Group in order to continue to ensure a consistently high level of quality in our tyre and other products across all Bridgestone Group factories worldwide. This continuing focus on quality on an international scale reflects a number of trends, including an increasingly global approach to production among automobile manufacturers; increasing demands for higher quality from customers in every region of the world; and the greater use of internal supply networks within the Bridgestone Group that cross national or regional borders.
A "sister factory" system forges greater connections between our factories in Japan and our overseas production facilities. By promoting interchange between sites on both human and technical levels, and by cultivating the personnel skills required to support a global enterprise, we promote the kinds of standardization and kaizen programs that will continue to improve our manufacturing methods as well as our production processes. Doing so will help us to be more competitive in all our markets around the world.