TYRE MANUFACTURERS OF THE WORLD: AMERICAN TYRE BRANDS
What do Goodyear, Uniroyal, BF Goodrich and Cooper have in common? The answer is that they’re all tyre brands originally from the US. In this, the third in our series Tyre Manufacturers of the World, find out more about the history of these famous American tyre manufacturers.
In 1898, Goodyear opened its first factory in Akron, Ohio in the United States. The American brand first appeared under the name of another famous tyre maker, Dunlop, and manufactured tyres for bicycles and carriages. With the start of the automobile boom, the company was quickly renamed Goodyear and became a multinational business. In 1999, Goodyear bought the rights to the Dunlop brand in Europe and North America and became a major American tyre manufacturer.
Firestone is also an American company, specialised in the manufacturing of tyres. It was founded in the “Rubber Capital of the World”, Akron, Ohio in 1900. Following the restructuring of the company in the 1980s, Firestone relocated to Chicago and was bought by Bridgestone.
BFGoodrich Tires was founded by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich (B.F.G) and quickly became a well known brand throughout the world. The first factory location? Akron in Ohio, of course! Specialising in 4×4 and motor racing tyres, BFGoodrich joined the Michelin group in 1990.
Founded in 1892 in Naugatuck, Connecticut, Uniroyal was originally the “United States Rubber Company”. The manufacturer was merged with BFGoodrich for several years, establishing its headquarters at the former BFGoodrich head office. Uniroyal joined the Michelin group in 1990. Its European branch is, however, part of the Continental group.
General Tire is our final American tyre brand. General Tire was found in 1915 in – you guessed it -Akron, Ohio. The company diversified in the 1940s before its tyre division was bought by Continental in 1987.