Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

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Goodyear Tires, Inc.
Company type Public (nyse: GT)
Foundation Akron, Ohio (1898)
Location Akron, Ohio
Key people Robert Keegan, CEO
Industry Manufacturing
Products Tires
Revenue Green Arrow Up Darker.png $19.7 billion USD (2005)
Num employees 145,000

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by German immigrants Charles and Frank Seiberling. Today it is the third largest tire and rubber company in the world behind Michelin and Bridgestone/Firestone. It manufactures tires for automobiles, airplanes, and heavy machinery. In addition it makes rubber hoses, shoe soles, and parts for electric printers.

Although the company was not connected with him, it was named in honor of Charles Goodyear. Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1839.

Goodyear is known throughout the world because of its famous Goodyear Blimps. For many years it maintained an aerospace subsidiary, first named Goodyear Aircraft Company and then after World War II renamed Goodyear Aerospace Corporation. The subsidiary was sold in 1987 to Loral Corp., in the aftermath of Sir James Goldsmith's greenmail attack.

The last major restructuring of the company took place in 1991. Goodyear hired Stanley Gault, former CFO of Rubbermaid inc, to expand the company into new markets. The moves resulted in 12,000 employees being laid off.

Goodyear blimp

Company Locations

Principal operating facilities:

North American Tire Manufacturing Facilities. North American Tire owns (or leases with the right to purchase at a nominal price) and operates 23 manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada.

  • 20 tire plants (8 in the United States and 2 in Canada),
  • 1 steel tire wire cord plant,
  • 4 chemical plants,
  • 1 tire mold plant,
  • 3 tire retread plants,
  • 2 aviation retread plants, and
  • 2 mix plants (1 in the United States and 1 in Canada).

These facilities have floor space aggregating approximately 24.9 million square feet.

European Union Tire Manufacturing Facilities. European Union Tire owns and operates 15 manufacturing facilities in 5 countries, including:

  • 14 tire plants,
  • 1 steel tire wire cord plant,
  • 1 tire mold and tire manufacturing machines facility,
  • 1 aviation retread plant, and
  • 1 mix plant.

These facilities have floor space aggregating approximately 13.4 million square feet.

Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Tire Manufacturing Facilities. Eastern Europe Tire owns and operates 5 tire plants in 4 countries. These facilities have floor space aggregating approximately 7.3 million square feet.

Latin American Tire Manufacturing Facilities. Latin American Tire owns and operates 9 manufacturing facilities in 5 countries, including 6 tire plants, 1 textile mill, 1 tire retread plant, and 1 aviation retread plant. These facilities have floor space aggregating approximately 5.6 million square feet.

Asia Pacific Tire Manufacturing Facilities. Asia Pacific Tire owns and operates 10 tire plants and 2 aviation retread plants in 9 countries. These facilities have floor space aggregating approximately 6.2 million square feet.

Plant Utilization. Worldwide tire capacity utilization rate was approximately 86% during 2007 compared to approximately 82% in 2006 and 87% in 2005. 2007 utilization increased due to the recovery from the 2006 USW strike.

Other Facilities. Goodyear also owns and operates three research and development facilities and technical centers, and three tire proving grounds. The company also operates more than 1,800 retail outlets for the sale of our tires to consumers, approximately 60 tire retreading facilities and approximately 160 warehouse distribution facilities. Substantially all of these facilities are leased.


Early History 1898-1926

The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio in 1898. The thirteen original employees manufactured bicycle and carriage tires, rubber horseshoe pads, and poker chips. The company grew with the advent of the automobile.

In 1901 Frank Seiberling provided Henry Ford with racing tires. By 1908 Ford was outfitting his Model T with Goodyear tires. A year later Goodyear manufactured its first aircraft tire.

In 1911 Goodyear started experimenting with airship design. It later manufactured airships and balloons for the U.S. military during World War I. The transport and reconnaissance capabilities that Goodyear provided contributed significantly to the Allied victory.

By 1926 Goodyear was the largest rubber company in the world. Only four years earlier they were forced to temporarily cease race tire production due to competition. Nevertheless, the popularity of the Goodyear tire on the racing circuit led to a popular demand for the brand.

Expansion 1926-1990

For the next sixty years Goodyear grew to become a multinational corporation with multi-billion dollar earnings. It acquired their rival Kelly-Springfield Tire in 1935. During World War II Goodyear manufactured Corsair fighter planes for the U.S. Military. By 1956 they owned and operated a nuclear processing plant in Ohio.

In 1944, Goodyear created a subsidiary in Mexico in a joint venture with Compañía Hulera,S.A. de C.V., Compañía Hulera Goodyear-Oxo, S.A. de C.V. or Goodyear-Oxo.

Sales for 1969 topped $3 billion, five years later sales topped $5 billion and it boasted operations in thirty four countries. In 1978 the original Akron plant was converted into a Technical Center for research and design. By 1985 worldwide sales exceeded $10 billion dollars.

The Goodyear Aerospace Corporation, a holding that developed from the Goodyear Aircraft Company after World War II designed a supercomputer for NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in 1979, the MPP. The subsidiary was sold in 1987 to the Loral Corp. as a result of restructuring.

The Goldsmith affair

In 1986 The Goodyear Rubber & Tire Company was a victim of a Greenmail attack. British financier James Goldsmith in conjunction with the investment group Hanson purchased 11% of Goodyear stock. They threatened to take the company over unless Goodyear bought back the shares at a highly inflated price.

The following year Goodyear retaliated with a massive restructuring. The company sold subsidiaries, closed plants, and tried to damage itself financially to make it an unsuitable takeover target. The plan worked but Goldsmith reportedly still walked away with $90 million for his efforts.

1990 to Present

The last major restructuring of the company took place in 1991. Goodyear hired Stanley Gault, former CFO of Rubbermaid to expand the company into new markets. The moves resulted in 12,000 employees being laid off.

Edmonton, Alberta

Recent History

On July 10, 2008, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was recognized as one of America’s most respected companies by the Reputation Institute (RI) and Forbes magazine. Goodyear ranked 16th on the magazine’s third annual listing of companies with the best reputations in the United States.

The list is based on the results RI’s Global Pulse consumer opinion survey, which measures the overall respect, trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings consumers hold toward the world’s largest companies.

Scores are based on RI’s seven dimensions of reputation: products/services, innovation, workplace, citizenship, governance, leadership and performance. RI said the 2008 survey indicates that consumers are most influenced by a company’s high-quality products and services as well as its governance and citizenship.

Goodyear’s score of 76.0, represented a 7.54 point increase over 2007 and was the largest year-over-year improvement of any company on the list. Goodyear is the only tire company on the top-75 list.

The recognition from RI and Forbes is the fifth significant honor for Goodyear in 2008. The company was named the world’s most admired company in the motor vehicle parts industry by Fortune magazine. Audit Integrity Inc. and Forbes magazine ranked Goodyear sixth on their list of America’s most trustworthy companies. The Wall Street Journal recognized Goodyear for leading shareholder return for the past five years in the automotive category. Goodyear was also ranked among the Top 100 Corporate Citizens selected by CRO magazine.


  • 1898 — Production begins in with 13 workers, manufacturing bicycle & carriage tires, rubber pads for horseshoes, & poker chips.
  • 1901 — Seiberling offers racing tires to Henry Ford to help him get started in automobile racing.
  • 1908 — Ford's Model T is outfitted with Goodyear tires.
  • 1909 — builds its first aircraft tire.
  • 1911 — constructs its first airship envelope.
  • 1917 — produces airships & baloons for the U.S. military during World War I
  • 1919 — tires on the winning car at the Indianapolis 500.
  • 1922 — facing a growing economic depression Goodyear stops race tire production.
  • 1926 — world's largest rubber company.
  • 1935 — purchases competitor Kelly-Springfield Tire
  • 1942 — awarded contract to make Corsair fighter planes for the US military.
  • 1956 — Goodyear-operated U235 atomic processing plant opens in Ohio (USA)
  • 1958 — attempting to counter a "stodgy" marketing image, Goodyear officially reenters racing.
  • 1969 — annual sales top $3 billion USD as a result of significant expansions
  • 1974 — annual sales reach $5 billion USD, now has facilities in 34 countries
  • 1978 — announces that an idle Akron tire plant will be converted into a $75 million USD Technical Center to support research & tire design efforts
  • 1979 — Goodyear Aerospace produces the MPP computer, a massively parallel supercomputer, for NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center
  • 1982 — Goodyear' tires appear in the motion picture The Junkman with H.B. Halicki.
  • 1984 — worldwide sales exceed 10 billion dollars
  • 1986 — Sir James Goldsmith & investment group Hanson initiate a takeover attempt by purchasing 11 percent of outstanding Goodyear stock
  • 1987 — in order to fend off the Goldsmith takeover & prevent other attempts, Goodyear completes a massive restructuring, selling subsidiaries and closing plants.
  • 1987 — announces completion of a California to Texas "All American" oil pipeline.
  • 1988 — announced plans to begin construction on a new state-of-the-art tire plant in Napanee, Ontario, Canada for a cost of $320 million.
  • 1990 — sales top $11 billion USD.
  • 1994 — opens an "electronic store" on the CompuServe network
  • 2004 — launches Assurance Tire with "Triple Tred" technology for any weather conditions for cars
  • 2005 — launches Wrangler & Fortera Tires with "Silent Armor" Technology & Kevlar
  • 2005 — launchers Fortera Tires with "Triple Tred" technology for SUVs

Further reading

  • Richard Korman. The Goodyear Story: An Inventor's Obsession and the Struggle for a Rubber Monopoly (2002)
  • Ronald P. Conlin; "Goodyear Advertising Research: Past, Present and Future" Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 34, 1994


see also: List of Formula One records, for the nine tire manufacturer who had competitors in Formula One races

External links