The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is an American multinational tire manufacturing company founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling and based in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery. It also produced bicycle tires from its founding until 1976. As of 2017, Goodyear is one of the top four tire manufacturers along with Bridgestone (Japan), Michelin (France) and Continental (Germany).
The company was named after American Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber. The first Goodyear tires became popular because they were easily detachable and required little maintenance.
Goodyear is also known for the Goodyear Blimp. Though Goodyear had been manufacturing airships and balloons since the early 1900s, the first Goodyear advertising blimp flew in 1925. Today it is one of the most recognizable advertising icons in America. The company is the most successful tire supplier in Formula One history, with more starts, wins, and constructors’ championships than any other tire supplier. They pulled out of the sport after the 1998 season. It is the sole tire supplier for NASCAR series.
Goodyear is a former component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company opened a new global headquarters building in Akron in 2013.
The last major restructuring of the company took place in 1991. Goodyear hired Stanley Gault, former CEO of Rubbermaid to expand the company into new markets. The moves resulted in 12,000 employees being laid off.
In 2005, Titan Tire purchased the farm tire business of Goodyear, and continues manufacturing Goodyear agricultural tires under license. This acquisition included the plant in Freeport, Illinois.
On July 10, 2008, Goodyear 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.
The company announced in summer 2009 that it will close its tire plant in the Philippines as part of a strategy to address noncompetitive manufacturing capacity globally by the end of the third quarter.
Goodyear announced plans to sell the assets of its Latin American off-road tire business to Titan Tire for US$98.6 million, including the plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil and a licensing agreement that allows Titan to continue manufacturing under the Goodyear brand. This deal is similar to Titan’s 2005 purchase of Goodyear’s US farm tire assets.
In 2011, more than 70 years after the dissolution of the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, it is announced that Goodyear will partner with Zeppelin again (the legacy company Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik) to build more zeppelins together.
In 2018, Goodyear and Bridgestone announced the creation of TireHub, a joint wholesale distribution network across the United States. At the same time, Goodyear also announced that it was ending its distribution relationship with American Tire Distributors, the largest tire wholesaler in the US.
In 2018, Goodyear was ordered to pay $40.1 million to J. Walter Twidwell, who claimed he developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos. After the trial, Goodyear asked the New York Supreme Court for a new trial. Goodyear attorney James Lynch said Goodyear did not receive proper consideration from the jury. Lynch said that the other side’s attorneys engaged in character assassinations against expert witnesses. During closing remarks, the attorneys for Twidwell put up a slide with the heads of Goodyear’s expert witnesses pasted onto “insulting caricatures.”