Sep 09 , 2020
Despite the still raging COVID-19 pandemic, the tyre business is poised to come back stronger than before as people become even more reliant on their vehicles to get to their destination while ensuring minimum exposure risk level. This was one of the important highlights of the first virtual meetup hosted by Bridgestone Middle East, which expressed optimism about future market prospects in Saudi Arabia post-pandemic with the gradual easing of restrictions and people continuing to observe social distancing as they move around.
During the meeting, Stefano Sanchini, Regional Managing Director for Bridgestone Middle East and Berna Akinci, Head of Marketing for Bridgestone Middle East discussed the economic repercussions of the pandemic to the automotive sector and the tyres industry following the temporary closures of businesses, impacting jobs as well as people staying more at home to avoid getting infected by the virus.
While economic impact has hit the pockets of vehicle owners in the Middle East, Sachini and Akinci emphasized that road safety must not be compromised to saving on money when it comes to replacing tyres and should be considered as a necessity.
They also took the opportunity to update the participants on the latest trends in the regional market, which has been rapidly catching up with the digitalization of almost all sectors, including the emergence of new mobility ecosystems.
During the talk, safety has been raised as a priority when buying tyres and should consider purchasing only using quality tyres as it affects the braking distance, the handling, and grip while driving. The drop in the demand for tyres during the height of the lockdown has affected sales, however, trend is moving upwards again as restrictions have eased in some parts of the region. In this regard, Bridgestone has been looking on ways to enrich its brand offerings to add value to customers considering that they are acquiring a premium brand.
The company further emphasized the importance of online and digital as becoming the priority for the industry to reach out and meet the needs of its customers, especially in the Middle East where there is a high rate of usage of digital devices and platforms to purchase their needs. The value of data management as the new fuel for mobility has also been talked about during the meetup.