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Bridgestone Buys 10% Stake in Repair Service Wrench

Bridgestone has made a 10% minority investment in the mobile vehicle services Wrench, the tiremaker announced Wednesday (Sept. 15) in a press release.

“The partnership paves the way for Bridgestone and Seattle-based Wrench to explore synergies in their service offerings, including pairing Bridgestone’s 2,200+ company-owned automotive service stores with Wrench’s complementary mobile services marketplace,” the Nashville company said in the release.

Wrench’s platform includes on-site vehicle maintenance, roadside assistance and towing, auto detailing and the Lemon Squad, its used vehicle inspection service.

Wrench functions as a digital, mobile source of mechanics who come to consumers, instead of having the consumers come to auto repair shops, PYMNTS reported in 2019. Using artificial intelligence (AI), the company provides on-scene diagnosis of problems and needed repairs, as well as standard pricing and quotes.

Read more: Digital Disruption Meets Automotive Repairs

“With the rise of eCommerce and on-demand services, consumer preferences for car maintenance and car care are changing,” said Bridgestone Americas President of Mobility Solutions Brian Goldstine in the release. “Wrench, combined with our company-owned retail stores and affiliated dealer partners, will create a truly world-class service platform that gives consumers trusted automotive service with added convenience and flexibility.”

The two companies will begin their integration later in the year, giving Bridgestone’s retail outlets the chance to tap into Wrench as a referral business, the release stated. Meanwhile, Wrench customers will be able to book vehicle service appointments at Firestone stores, and existing Bridgestone customers will get the chance to book future mobile service appointments through Wrench.

“Wrench provides a technology-forward solution pairing convenience with a comprehensive suite of vehicle maintenance, repair and inspections services,” said Wrench CEO Ed Petersen in the release. “Our partnership with Bridgestone will help accelerate the industry’s digital transformation. This allows both companies to expand our customer offerings, while growing our technologies and vehicle care expertise together.”

Bridgestone said in the release that the investment is an example of its ongoing pursuit of concierge services for personal mobility and fleet customers.

The partnership is happening in an era of increased competition among auto services chains, something underlined earlier this year with the merger of the Goodyear and Cooper tire companies.

Read more: Goodyear-Cooper Tire Merger Heats Up Competition Among Auto Service Chains

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