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2009 Chicago Auto Show: Bridgestone Brand Ecopia EP100 Debuts at Chicago Auto Show-VIDEO ENHANCED

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CHICAGO - February 11, 2009: The Chicago Auto Show, North America’s largest consumer auto show, set the stage today for the Bridgestone brand’s official launch of its new environmentally friendly tire, the Ecopia EP100, which provides drivers with improved fuel economy without sacrificing wet handling performance.

“We know consumers are concerned about fuel economy and getting the most out of their tires,” said John Baratta, President, Consumer Replacement Tire, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). “The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 is a natural fit for the consumer and a well-timed option considering the challenges in today’s marketplace. This tire offers our lowest rolling resistance technology which improves fuel efficiency, a direct benefit to consumers.”

The Ecopia tire line incorporates Bridgestone’s latest and best low rolling resistance technology. Ecopia targets fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrids and electric vehicles, and will be used in original equipment and replacement applications.

The new Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 is the first aftermarket product in the Ecopia tire line for the North American market. The Ecopia EP100 is a summer replacement tire fitment for popular fuel efficient, hybrid and electric vehicles including the Mini Cooper, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla and a selection of other conventional vehicles. Available in H- and V-speed ratings, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 has a UTQG of 400AB and will be offered in six different sizes ranging from 14-16 inch. The tire will be available in March in the first phase of a two-phase rollout in 2009.

To view video of Ecopia unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show, click PLAY

“With the Ecopia EP100 we have integrated proprietary Bridgestone technologies to provide low rolling resistance, a smooth, quiet ride, and reliable wet handling and braking. All of these performance characteristics are in response to what the customer has been telling us they want and need,” Baratta added.

The Ecopia EP100 incorporates Bridgestone’s cutting-edge NanoPro Tech Technology which offers consumers improved performance by controlling the interaction between polymers, filler materials and other rubber chemicals used in the manufacture of the tire.

Design elements in the Ecopia EP100 include 3D Cut Circumferential Ribs to help reduce irregular wear and lessen road noise. Consistent Surface Contact, through a special tread block design, improves wet and dry handling and reduces irregular wear. Interconnected Rib Blocks enhance wet performance and help reduce energy loss. High Angle Lateral Grooves are incorporated into the Ecopia EP100 to help avoid hydroplaning.

The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 comes with the Platinum Pact 3-Year Limited Warranty, which provides replacement at no charge (excluding taxes and disposal fees) if the tire should become unusable for any reason within the manufacturer’s control for up to three years from date of purchase or four years from date of manufacture.

The tire also comes with the Buy & Try 30-day Guarantee, which allows a consumer to receive a full refund or exchange if he or she is not pleased with the tire for any reason within 30 days of purchase (proof of purchase date is required). Certain restrictions and limitations may apply, so consumers should check with their retailers for complete details and conditions.

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations plans to develop technologies incorporated in the Ecopia EP100 into future product lines to address drivers’ demands for low rolling resistance tires and improved fuel economy.