Asahi Brands Limited, the exclusive distributor for Bridgestone and Firestone tyres in the Nigerian market, has inaugurated the company’s branded retail outlets in Lagos.
The investment, it was learnt at the recent official commissioning in Victoria Island, Lagos, was in demonstration of the partners’ commitment and increased focus on the growing Nigerian market.
Christened Asahi Tyre Zone, the outlet was inaugurated by the Group Deputy Managing Director, Kewalram Chanrai Group, Victor Eburajolo; Director Sales, Bridgestone Middle East & Africa, Stefano Sanchini; and Director, Auto Division, Afriventures, Anil Sahgal.
The new Asahi Tyre Zone on Karimu Kotun Street, Victoria Island, and the ones before it, were put in place in association with Bridgestone Middle East (BSME) to further consolidate in the local market the well earned reputation of Bridgestone as the number one premium tyre manufacturer in the world.
Five similar outlets had earlier been opened elsewhere, even as there are plans to avail other parts of the country of the numerous services the Asahi Tyre Zone has to offer to customers, including the provision an enhanced retail experience and a better feel for the brand and passenger car radials on display.
Speaking on the inauguration, Stefano Sanchini said Bridgestone and Asahi brought to bear on the project their 36 years of symbiotic partnership which has thrived in the sustained provision of premium quality tyres and tyre care services to customers in Nigeria.
The Bridgestone Middle East & Africa Director Sales, who attended the ceremony from his base in Dubai, remarked, “Over the past two to three turbulent years, we have been making steady inroads into the Nigerian market as this is a pivotal market for our growth in the African sub-continent.
“Our product range fits well with the Nigerian consumer requirements and with the support of our key distribution and retail partners in Nigeria, we have been able to penetrate most of the key institutional and replacement tyre market segments. Now with the reviving economy in Nigeria, we believe it is the perfect time to step up our customer focus in this market with the established branded retail chain Asahi Tyre Zones .”
In his remarks, the Director Auto Division, Afriventures, explained that Asahi and the tyre brands it represents recognise that the growing passenger vehicle segment of Lagos, along with entire Nigeria, has a lot of potential, affirming that the age-old partnership with Bridgestone has enabled his company to secure a strong customer acknowledgement for its range of tyres.
Sahgal also stated: “We aim to have a larger mind space with the customers in the 36,000 a month premium tyre market in Nigeria. The Asahi Tyre Zones will help us increase visibility for the Bridgestone and Firestone brands, and will endear us further for the consumers, as they experience our world-class products and services.”
With developing road infrastructure, Nigeria has above 90 percent radialisation levels in the passenger vehicle segment. Asahi Brands Limited, with its Bridgestone and Firestone car radials, which has already received high acceptance from Nigerian customers, is keen to further establish the dual brand at the top tier of the car radials market. The passenger car tyres portfolio is capable of servicing nearly 90 percent of the Nigerian car tyre market, which is currently, one of the largest in the African continent.
The Asahi Tyre Zones follow a modern up-market retail format for selling tyres – ensuring ample visual appeal, comfort and convenience to customers, and providing an opportunity to learn about the product’s applications and performance before making the final purchase. They, thus, bridge the gap between tyres being a low involvement product category and the need for expert guidance, to enable customers to buy the right tyres, suited to their vehicle, driving style and usage.
With the opening of Asahi Tyre Zones, Asahi Brands Limited now has six such branded retail outlets in Nigeria.