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Leading tyre manufacturers: which brand belongs to which group?

The tyre market is dominated by 5 leading tyre manufacturing groups: Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear/Dunlop and Pirelli. These groups not only represent brands with the same name, they also own a range of subsidiary brands. Here’s a quick overview of the major groups to find out who belongs to who!

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Michelin Group

BF Goodrich: an American tyre manufacturer established in 1870 in Akron (the same town where Goodyear was founded). Michelin acquired the 4x4 and motor racing tyre specialist in 1990.

Kleber: created in 1911 in the BF Goodrich workshops in Paris, the brand was acquired by the Michelin group in 1981.

Riken: founded in Japan in 1958, tyre manufacturer Riken has belonged to the Michelin group since 1992.

Kormoran: Michelin has owned Kormoran, a Polish brand producing value for money tyres, since the early 2000’s.

Tigar: a subsidiary of the Michelin group since 2005, and fully-owned since 2009, this Serbian brand based in the town of Pirot manufactures tyres for its own brand as well as for Riken and Kormoran.

Uniroyal: Michelin bought the brand in 1990 as part of its takeover of BF Goodrich. However, Michelin is only responsible for the production of Uniroyal tyres for North America. Uniroyal Europe belongs to Continental.

Other Michelin group bands: Stomil Olsztyn (parent company of Kormoran), Taurus, Warrior, Orium.

Continental AG

Uniroyal: as mentioned above, the brand belongs to Michelin in North America, but the European branch has been part of Continental AG since 1979.

General Tire: this American brand specialising in SUV and 4x4 tyres was acquired by Continental in 1987.

Semperit: established in Austria in 1824 in what was Europe’s first tyre plant, the brand merged with Continental in 1985.

Barum: founded in 1945 and well-known in the Czech Republic, its country of origin, the Barum brand has been part of the German group since 1992.

Other Continental brands: Gislaved, Viking, Euzkadi, Matador, Mabor, Sime.

Bridgestone

Firestone: established in 1900, this very popular American brand has been part of the Bridgestone group since 1988.

Nokian: founded in 1904 in Finland, the winter tyre specialist was previously owned by Nokia (yes, the famous telephone manufacturer!). Bridgestone became the major shareholder after buying shares in the telecommunications giant when the company changed its strategic focus.

Lassa: founded by the Turkish group Sabanci in 1974, Lassa’s name was changed to Brisa for a time during its association with Bridgestone. The brand is now part of a joint venture with the Japanese manufacturer.

Uniroyal: yes, them again! Bridgestone owns the distribution rights for the brand in Australia. 

Other Bridgestone brands: Dayton.

Goodyear

Dunlop: in 1999, as the result of a joint venture between Sumitomo and Goodyear, the two companies shared the distribution rights for the Dunlop brand in different parts of the world. Goodyear then retrieved Sumitomo’s shares to become Dunlop’s exclusive distributor in Europe and North America. In other countries (such as Turkey, Russia, and Asian countries), Sumitomo has retained ownership of Dunlop.

Sava: a Slovenian brand created in 1948, it has been part of the Goodyear group since 1998.

Fulda: this German brand, founded in the factory of the same name in 1900, has been owned by Goodyear since 1962.

Other Goodyear brands: Debica, Douglas, Kelly, Fierce, Lee.

Pirelli

CEAT: founded in 1924 in Turin by Virginio Bruni Tedeschi, grandfather of former French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, CEAT has since moved production to India and was sold to Pirelli in 1970.

Metzeler: this motorcycle tyre brand was founded in Germany in 1863. It was acquired by the Pirelli group in 1986.

Other tyre groups

Vredestein was bought by the Indian group Apollo in 2009.

Hankook owns several brands including Aurora, Kingstar, Rotex and Laufenn.

Yokohama owns brands such as Alliance, Galaxy and Mohawk.

As for Cooper Tires, the group is the parent company of several brands including Avon, Dean, Mentor, Mastercraft, Definity, Roadmaster, and Mickey Thompson.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries owns the rights for the Dunlop brand in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The group also holds the distribution rights for Goodyear in Japan and owns tyre manufacturer Falken worldwide.

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