Founded in 1898, The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company has been at the forefront of tyre technology and invention. Through advanced research and manufacturing practices incorporating Trinuum Technology, Goodyear continues to produce tyres that revolutionise and push the boundaries of innovation.
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About Goodyear Tyres
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Goodyear is one of the world's largest tyre companies. It employs approximately 69,000 people and manufactures its products in more than 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centres in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.
For over 110 years, Goodyear has continued to produce revolutionary tyres that push the boundaries of innovation.
Looking back, the founding of Goodyear in 1898 seems especially remarkable, for the beginning was anything but auspicious. The 38-year-old founder, Frank A. Seiberling, purchased the company's first plant with a $3,500 down payment - using money he borrowed from a brother-in-law Lucius C. Miles. The rubber and cotton that were the lifeblood of the industry had to be transported from halfway around the world, to a landlocked town that had only limited rail transportation. Even the man the company's name memorialized, Charles Goodyear, had died penniless 30 years earlier despite his discovery of vulcanization after a long and courageous search.
Yet the timing couldn't have been better. The bicycle craze of the 1890s was booming. The horseless carriage, some ventured to call it the automobile, was a wide-open challenge. Even the depression of 1893 was beginning to fade. So on August 29, 1898, Goodyear was incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000.
David E. Hill, who purchased $30,000 of stock, became the first president. But it was the dynamic and visionary founder, hard-driving Seiberling, who chose the name and determined the distinctive trademark. The winged-foot trademark, inspired by a newel-post statuette of Mercury in the Seiberling home, has been altered over the years. Yet, it remains an integral part of the Goodyear signature, a symbolic link with the company's historic past.
Something else about these legendary early years lingers on through Goodyear's history. Something elusive and intangible, yet very real. Something about the people. People like Seiberling, actually trying to liquidate family-owned property in 1898 when he ended up taking that once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy - at a bargain - the seven-acre tract that became Goodyear. People like George M. Stadelman, a man who avoided crowds and never made a speech, yet had a gift of integrity and foresight that guided Goodyear's sales through a critical 20 years. People like Paul W. Litchfield, whose conviction and leadership helped inspire Goodyear's development for nearly six decades.
With just 13 employees, Goodyear production began on November 21, 1898, with a product line of bicycle and carriage tyres, horseshoe pads and - fitting the gamble Seiberling was making - poker chips. The first recorded payroll amounted to $217.86 based on the prevailing wage of 13 to 25 cents an hour for a 10-hour day. After the first full month of business, sales amounted to $8,246. Since the first bicycle tyres in 1898, Goodyear pedalled its way toward becoming the world's largest tyres company, a title it earned in 1916 when it adopted the slogan "More people ride on Goodyear tyres than on any other kind," becoming the world's largest rubber company in 1926.
Today, Goodyear measures sales of approximately $20 billion, although it took 53 years before the company reached the first billion-dollar-year milestone. And it all began in a converted strawboard factory on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River in East Akron, Ohio. Spanning the years, through all of those yesterdays, a legion of firsts and facts and figures appears that reflect the making of a company.
GOODYEAR HISTORIC MILESTONES - ONE REVOLUTION AHEAD
- 1839 Charles Goodyear invents the process of rubber-curing, which he called vulcanization.
- 1898 Frank Seilberling founded the Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Company and chose the name "Goodyear" to honour Charles Goodyear.
- 1901 Goodyear develops the first straight-side tyre, with braided wire bead.
- 1901 Goodyear offers a young Henry Ford tyres for his new race car to help Ford get started in racing - Goodyear tyres appear in first race.
- 1903 Goodyear employee Paul Litchfield is granted patent on first tubeless automobile tyre.
- 1908 Goodyear introduces its first All-Weather tread non-skid tyres, featuring a diamond tread design.
- 1908 Henry Ford's Model T, fitted with Goodyear tyres, is a sensation with middle class consumers and car registrations skyrocket.
- 1909 Goodyear developed first pneumatic rubber airplane tyre, to replace sled runners and bicycle tyres formally used.
- 1912 First Goodyear Blimp debuts.
- 1914 All of the cars in the Indianapolis 500 used Goodyear tyres.
- 1916 Goodyear becomes the world's largest tyre company, initiated slogan "More people ride on Goodyear tyres than on any other kind".
- 1917 First "cross-country" (Akron to Boston) truck line, the Wingfoot Express, started by Goodyear.
- 1917 First blimps built for U.S. Navy by Goodyear.
- 1921 Goodyear produces Rut-Proof Tyre - first off road tyre.
- 1924 Goodyear acquired Zeppelin patents, to construct rigid airships in the US
- 1926 With Sales exceeding $230,000, Goodyear becomes the world's largest tyre and rubber company.
- 1929 Goodyear constructs the world's largest airship dock begins in Akron, Ohio.
- 1932 Goodyear develops first hydraulic disc brakes for airplanes.
- 1934 Goodyear introduces earthmover tyres.
- 1934 Goodyear develops the first studded mud and snow tyre.
- 1937 Goodyear built and tested first American-made synthetic rubber tyre.
- 1939 Goodyear tyres used on Admiral Richard Byrd's Snow Cruiser for Antarctic expedition.
- 1947 Goodyear develops first nylon tyres.
- 1948 Goodyear celebrates its first 50 years.
- 1951 First $1 billion sales year for Goodyear and the industry.
- 1951 500,000,000th Goodyear tyre is produced.
- 1954 Goodyear starts its long and impeccable record within Australian aviation.
- 1959 Mickey Thompson set new American Land Speed Record of over 531 kph on Goodyear tyres at Bonneville Salt Flats.
- 1963 Goodyear produced its one billionth tyre.
- 1964 Using Goodyear tyres, Craig Breedlove becomes the first man to top 600 miles (960km) an hour.
- 1970 First tyres on the moon (Apollo 14) supplied by Goodyear.
- 1971 Goodyear equips giant earth movers with the world's largest tyre, measuring 11 1/2 feet high and weighing 7,000 pounds each.
- 1972 Goodyear introduced the Custom Steelgard Radial tyre - the only steel-belted radial accepted by all U.S. car makers for their 1973 models
- 1972 For the next 24 years, every winner of the Indy 500 will ride on Goodyear tyres.
- 1977 Goodyear introduces the first all-season radial, the Tiempo.
- 1978 Goodyear pioneers new uses for old tyres as construction material for more than 2,000 artificial reefs and floating breakwaters, protecting harbours and providing habitats for marine life.
- 1980 For the third time, Johnny Rutherford won the Indianapolis 500 and Kenny Roberts won his third straight World 500cc Motorcycle Road Racing Championship, both on Goodyear tyres.
- 1981 Goodyear introduces its new family of Eagle high performance tyres introduced at Daytona.
- 1982 Goodyear announces the Highway Heroes to honour truck drivers for acts of heroism and public service.
- 1983 Goodyear produces its three billionth tyre.
- 1987 Goodyear introduces the Eagle ZR-S high performance street radial tyre, the first with a "Z" speed rating indicating it was designed to operate at speeds of more than 149 mph.
- 1989 Goodyear develops SIBR, a synthetic rubber developed to improve heat resistance of high performance and racing tyres.
- 1989 Goodyear produces the first asymmetrical-tread aircraft tyre for the U.S. Air Force's F-15 fighter and for both the U.S. Navy's A-12 attack bomber and McDonnell Douglas MD-11 jet.
- 1992 Goodyear introduces the Aquatred, a tyre that set new standards in wet traction.
- 1992 Goodyear introduced the first extended mobility, or run-flat, tyre for the Chevrolet Corvette.
- 1994 Goodyear opened an "electronic store" on CompuServe, an on-line subscription service - Goodyear was the first and only major tyre manufacturer with a CompuServe store.
- 1994 Goodyear celebrated its 300th Grand Prix victory in Barcelona, Spain.
- 1995 Goodyear records its 1000th NASCAR Winston Cup victory.
- 1996 Goodyear introduced the Infinitred, the industry's first auto tyre to carry lifetime treadwear warranty.
- 1997 Signed deal with NASCAR, making Goodyear the "exclusive tyre supplier" of NASCAR's top three race divisions.
- 1997 Goodyear wins its 350th Grand Prix race, with Jacques Villeneuve in Barcelona, Spain. Announces withdrawal from Formula One racing after 1998 season.
- 1998 Goodyear celebrates its 100th year anniversary.
- 1998 Goodyear exits Formula One racing with a record 368 victories and 25 Drivers' World Championships.
- 2000 Goodyear is a proud sponsor for the Sydney Olympic Games, during this time the iconic Goodyear blimp is utilised.
- 2001 Goodyear introduces the world's first tyre with a compound derived from corn. The Goodyear GT3 uses a new starch based filler material called BioTRED.
- 2001 Goodyear named exclusive tyre supplier for NHRA's top two drag racing divisions.
- 2002 Low-rolling-resistant E-metric concept tyres featured on General Motors' Autonomy fuel cell car.
- 2004 Goodyear Assurance tyres featuring TripleTred and ComforTred technology.
- 2004 Goodyear's marks its 50th anniversary of involvement with NASCAR, the longest-running sponsor of the sport, by introducing its popular tyre brand Wrangler to the Craftsman Truck Series.
- 2004 Goodyear launches the revolutionary Ducaro GA, incorporating state of the art 'Bubble Blade' technology. This launch is in conjunction with the new Brand direction 'One Revolution Ahead', which reflects Goodyear's commitment to further leading the industry with the creation of innovative and high performance products.
- 2005 Goodyear introduces Duraseal, a revolutionary commercial tyre technology that repairs punctures when they occur.
- 2006 The launch of Goodyear Excellence incorporating state-of-the-art 3 Zone tyre technology that boasts high levels of safety, performance and comfort.
- 2007 Goodyear extends its exclusive tyre supply agreement with NASCAR through 2012.
- 2007 Goodyear Wrangler HP All Weather and Wrangler AT SilentArmor tyres launched.
- 2007 Funding granted for Goodyear/NASA project to develop tyres for moon and Mars exploration.
- 2008 Goodyear named one of 100 Best Corporate Citizens (CRO magazine), World's Most Admired Company in Motor Vehicle Parts Industry (Fortune magazine), one of America's most trustworthy companies (Audit Integrity and Forbes magazine), and one of America's most respected companies (Reputation Institute and Forbes magazine).
- 2008 Goodyear and Genenco announced a collaboration to develop breakthrough bio-based process for producing isoprene using renewable raw materials.
- 2008 Goodyear launches Eagle F1 Asymmetric, a new benchmark in ultra high performance passenger tyres.
- 2009 Company announces plans for an unprecedented number of new product launches in 2009, with more than 50 new tyres being introduced globally. These include the Wrangler DuraTrac, Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar and DuraPlus tyres.
- 2009 Goodyear recognised as America's most respected automotive company (Forbes magazine) and ranked second on the World's Most Admired Motor Vehicle Parts Companies list (Fortune magazine).
- 2009 100th anniversary of Goodyear's introduction of the first aviation tyre.
- 2009 Two drivers from Australia set Fuel Economy Guinness World Record in the USA driving a Volkswagen Jetta TDI equipped with Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tyres.
- 2009 Goodyear and NASA developed an airless "Spring Tyre" for use on the moon.
- 2009 Goodyear unveils world's first tyre made with BioIsoprene technology, a breakthrough bio-based alternative ingredient used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber.
- 2010 Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max launched in Asia Pacific, a breakthrough tyre that significantly reduces the amount of fuel cars consume with an innovation in fuel-efficient technology.
- 2010 Goodyear is the only tyre maker and the highest-ranked company in the automotive industry on the Forbes Most Reputable Company list.
- 2010 Goodyear's quietest tyre ever, the Eagle EfficientGrip, is launched garnering multiple accolades.
- 2010 Goodyear again named one of Most Reputable Companies by Forbes Magazine.
- 2011 Two new Eagles land, the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5, setting new benchmarks in the ultra high performance tyre segment.