THE JAPANESE tyre-maker Bridgestone says it intends to set up a new commercial branch, Bridgestone Slovakia. The company also announced new commercial branches in Romania and Latvia, the SITA newswire reported. According to Bridgestone Europe, the company's European arm and the official founder of the new branches, these will be responsible for sales and marketing activities in the respective countries and will also focus on improving services to clients.

The vice-president of Bridgestone Europe for sales and marketing, Gerry Duffy, said Bridgestone's sales in Romania, Slovakia and the Baltic states have shown considerable growth recently. The time is ripe, he said, for further market expansion, for boosting the company's position and for improving services to company clients and users. The newly-established branches should start operation on July 1 this year.

Bridgestone Slovakia will be the company's first branch dedicated to the Slovak market. Currently, Bridgestone provides sales support and services to Slovakia from its branch in Vienna.