Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

Last updated

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Type Public
Industry Manufacturing
FoundedAugust 29, 1898;122 years ago (1898-08-29)
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Founder Frank Seiberling
Akron, Ohio
Area served
Key people
Richard J. Kramer (Chairman, President, and CEO)
Products Tires
RevenueDecrease2.svg US$12.32 billion (2020)
Decrease2.svgUS$−538 Million (2020)
Decrease2.svgUS$−1.254 billion (2020)
Total assets Decrease2.svgUS$16.506 billion (2020)
Total equity Increase2.svgUS$5.4 billion (2020)
Number of employees
62,000 (December 2020)
Subsidiaries List of subsidiaries
Footnotes /references

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-moving machinery. It also makes bicycle tires, having returned from a break in production between 1976 and 2015. [2] As of 2017, Goodyear is one of the top four tire manufacturers along with Bridgestone (Japan), Michelin (France) and Continental (Germany). [3]


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.[ citation needed ]

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. [4] The company is the most successful tire supplier in Formula One history, with more starts, wins, and constructors' championships than any other tire supplier. [5] They pulled out of the sport after the 1998 season. It is the sole tire supplier for NASCAR series.

Goodyear was the first global tire manufacturer to enter China when it invested in a tire manufacturing plant in Dalian in 1994.

Goodyear was a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average between 1930 and 1999. [6] The company opened a new global headquarters building in Akron in 2013.


Goodyear factory buildings and former headquarters complex Goodyearheadquartersandfactory.jpg
Goodyear factory buildings and former headquarters complex

Early history 1898–1926

The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, in 1898. The company originally manufactured bicycle and carriage tires, rubber horseshoe pads, and poker chips, and grew with the advent of the automobile. [7]

In 1901, Goodyear founder Frank Seiberling provided Henry Ford with racing tires. [8] In 1903, Goodyear president, chairman and CEO Paul Weeks Litchfield was granted a patent for the first tubeless automobile tire.[ citation needed ]

In 1916, Litchfield found land in the Phoenix area suitable for growing long-staple cotton, which was needed to reinforce its rubber in tires. The 36,000 acres purchased were controlled by the Southwest Cotton Company, formed with Litchfield as president. (This included land that would develop into the towns of Goodyear and Litchfield Park.)

In 1924, Litchfield forged a joint venture with the German Luftschiffbau Zeppelin Company to form the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation. [9] From the late 1920s to 1940, the company worked with Goodyear to build two Zeppelins in the United States. The partnership continued even when Zeppelin was under Nazi control and only ended after World War II began. [10]

Expansion 1926–1970

Paul Litchfield, inventor of the tubeless car tire who promoted the Zeppelin partnership and later became Goodyear president and board chairman. PaulLitchfield.jpg
Paul Litchfield, inventor of the tubeless car tire who promoted the Zeppelin partnership and later became Goodyear president and board chairman.

On August 5, 1927, Goodyear had its initial public offering and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. [11]

By 1930, Goodyear had pioneered what would later become known as "tundra tires" for smaller aircraft—their so-called low inflation pressure "airwheel" aviation wheel-rim/tire sets were initially available in sizes up to 46 inches (117 cm) in diameter. [12]

For the next sixty years, Goodyear grew to become a multinational corporation with multibillion-dollar earnings. It acquired their rival Kelly-Springfield Tire in 1935. During World War II Goodyear manufactured F4U Corsair fighter planes for the U.S. Military. Goodyear ranked 30th among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. [13] WWII forced the dissolution of the Goodyear-Zeppelin partnership in December 1940. 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.

Radial tire transition

Of the five biggest U.S. tire firms in 1970, today only Goodyear remains independent, due to the challenge posed by radial tire technology, and the varied responses. [14] At the time, the entire U.S. tire industry produced the older bias-ply technology. Estimates to fit the factories with new machinery and tools for making this new product were between $600 million and $900 million. This was a substantial amount in a low margin business with sales revenue in the low billions. [15] The U.S. market was slowly shifting towards the radial tire, as had already been the case in Europe and Asia. In 1968, Consumer Reports, an influential American magazine, acknowledged the superiority of radial construction, which had been developed in 1946 by Michelin. [15] [16]

When Charles J. Pilliod Jr. became CEO in 1974, he faced a major investment decision regarding the radial tire, which today has a market share of nearly 100%. [17] Despite heavy criticism at the time, Pilliod invested heavily in new factories and tooling to build the radial tire. [18] Sam Gibara, who headed Goodyear from 1996 to 2003, has noted that without the action of Pilliod, Goodyear "wouldn't be around today." [18]

Sales for 1969 topped $3 billion. Five years later sales topped $5 billion and Goodyear 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.

Goodyear Aerospace, 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.

In 1987, Goodyear formed a business partnership with Canadian tire retailer Fountain Tire. [19]

Diversification and Goldsmith affair 1986

In the 1980s, incoming Goodyear CEO Robert E. Mercer argued that the tire and automobile-related businesses that formed the core of Goodyear to that date were slow growing and a handicap. He set a strategy "to get away from the cyclical nature of the automobile business'' through mergers or purchase of businesses unrelated to tires or vehicles. [20]

In 1983, Goodyear acquired the natural gas company Celeron Corporation in exchange for stock valued at more than $740 million. [20] It went on to invest heavily in gas exploration including the 1,200 mile crude oil California - Texas "All American" pipeline initially costed at 600 million [21] but ultimately costing almost 1 billion dollars. [22]

In October 1986 British financier James Goldsmith in conjunction with the investment group Hanson purchased 11.5% of Goodyear's outstanding common stock. [23] This was viewed as a Greenmail attack by some, and as shareholder activism by Goldsmith, who viewed the company's move into areas far removed from tire development production and sale as commercially ill-advised and wanted the company to divest, especially, its oil interests which he viewed as depressing the value of the company. [24]

On November 20, 1986, Goodyear acquired all of the stock held by Goldsmith's group (12,549,400 shares) at an above-market price of $49.50 per share. [25] Goodyear also made a tender offer for up to 40 million shares of its stock from other shareholders at $50 per share. The tender offer resulted in Goodyear buying 40,435,764 shares of stock in February 1987.

As a result of the stock buyback, Goodyear took a charge of $224.6 million associated with a massive restructuring plan. It sold its Goodyear Aerospace business to Loral Corporation for $588 million and its Motor Wheel business to Lemmerz Inc. for $175 million. [26] Two subsidiaries involved in agricultural products, real estate development, and a resort hotel in Arizona were sold for $220.1 million. The company also sold the Celeron gas and oil Corporation. In 1998, the All American Pipeline, Celeron Gathering, and Celeron Trading and Transportation were sold, largely completing what Goldsmith's hostile takeover had suggested good management should do. In the years following 1987, the company invested in its tire business. President Tom Barrett succeeded Chairman Robert Mercer in 1989, and a process began of modernising, expanding and developing its plants, for instance in Kelly-Springfield's North Carolina, Lawton, Oklahoma, Napanee, Canada, Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Scottsboro, Alabama. [27] In the 2000s, the move of business into low-wage counties, facilitated by GATT (which Goldsmith had warned government against, calling it "a policy to impoverish" [28] ), resulted in plants across North America being shuttered, for instance Cumberland, Maryland; New Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Windsor, Vermont were closed.

1990 to present

Airless tire concept Goodyear, GIMS 2019, Le Grand-Saconnex (GIMS0042).jpg
Airless tire concept

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. [29] The moves resulted in 12,000 employees being laid off. [30]

In 2005, Titan Tire purchased the farm tire business of Goodyear, and manufactures Goodyear agricultural tires under license. [31] This acquisition included the plant in Freeport, Illinois. [31]

In the summer of 2009, the company announced it would close its tire plant in the Philippines as part of a strategy to address uncompetitive manufacturing capacity globally by the end of the third quarter of that year. [32]

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. [33] [34]

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. [35]

In 2018, Goodyear and Bridgestone announced the creation of TireHub, a joint wholesale distribution network across the United States. [36] 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. [37]

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." [38]

In December 2018, Goodyear ceased operations in Venezuela due a lack of materials and rising costs resulting from hyperinflation. [39]

In February 2021, Goodyear announced that it will acquire the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company for $2.5 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021. [40] [41]


Goodyear Tires advertisement, Syracuse Post-Standard, February 26, 1916 Goodyear 1916-0226.jpg
Goodyear Tires advertisement, Syracuse Post-Standard, February 26, 1916

Source: [27]

Corporate structure and leadership

Board of directors

[ when? ]

Former Board members include Shirley D. Peterson, William J. Contay, James C. Boland and Rodney O'Neal. Richard Kramer is the chief executive officer and president of the company (since 2010), succeeding Robert J. Keegan.



Foreign Relations with Indonesia in the 1960s

Following the military coup in Indonesia in 1965, His Excellency Suharto encouraged Goodyear to return and offered rubber resources and political prisoners as labor. In an NBC special aired in 1967, reporter Ted Yates aired footage showing former Communist rubber union workers escorted at gunpoint to the rubber plantation.

Bad as things are in Indonesia, one positive fact is known. Indonesia has a fabulous potential wealth in natural resources and the New Order [the fascist regime headed by pro-U.S. General Suharto] wants it exploited. So they are returning the private properties expropriated by Sukarno's regime. Goodyear's Sumatran rubber empire is an example. It was seized [by the rubber workers] in retaliation for U.S. aggression in Vietnam in 1965. The rubber workers union was Communist-run, so after the coup many of them were killed or imprisoned. Some of the survivors, you see them here, still work the rubber -- but this time as prisoners, and at gunpoint. [51] [ irrelevant citation ]

Pay discrimination lawsuits

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated,

Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber's plant in Gadsden, Alabama, from 1979 until her retirement in 1998. For most of those years, she worked as an area manager, a position largely occupied by men. Initially, Ledbetter's salary was in line with the salaries of men performing substantially similar work. Over time, however, her pay slipped in comparison to the pay of male area managers with equal or less seniority. By the end of 1997, Ledbetter was the only woman working as an area manager and the pay discrepancy between Ledbetter and her 15 male counterparts was stark: Ledbetter was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236. [52]

Lilly Ledbetter sued Goodyear claiming she was paid less than men doing the same work. She won the suit and was awarded $360,000, the jury deciding that Goodyear had clearly engaged in discrimination. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court. In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. , 550 U.S. ___ (2007), Justice Alito held for the five-justice majority that employers are protected from lawsuits over race or gender pay discrimination if the claims are based on decisions made by the employer 180 days ago or more. The United States Congress overturned this decision by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which was the first bill signed into law by President Obama. [53]

This was a case of statutory rather than constitutional interpretation. The plaintiff in this case, Lilly Ledbetter, characterized her situation as one where "disparate pay is received during the statutory limitations period, but is the result of intentionally discriminatory pay decisions that occurred outside the limitations period." In rejecting Ledbetter's appeal, the Supreme Court said that "she could have, and should have, sued" when the pay decisions were made, instead of waiting beyond the 180-day statutory charging period.

Justice Ginsburg dissented from the opinion of the Court, [52] joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Breyer. She argued against applying the 180-day limit to pay discrimination, because discrimination often occurs in small increments over large periods of time. Furthermore, the pay information of fellow workers is typically confidential and unavailable for comparison. Ginsburg argued that pay discrimination is inherently different from adverse actions, such as termination. Adverse actions are obvious, but small pay discrepancy is often difficult to recognize until more than 180 days of the pay change. Ginsburg argued that the broad remedial purpose of the statute was incompatible with the Court's "cramped" interpretation. Her dissent asserted that the employer had been, "Knowingly carrying past pay discrimination forward" during the 180-day charging period, and therefore could be held liable.

Environmental record

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst identified Goodyear as the 19th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 4.16 million lbs of toxins released into the air annually. Major pollutants included sulfuric acid, cobalt compounds, and chlorine. [54] The Center for Public Integrity reports the Goodyear has been named as a potentially responsible party in at least 54 of the nation's Superfund toxic waste sites.[ citation needed ] On February 8, 2008, Goodyear announced the launch of an environmentally friendly tire produced using a cornstarch-based material. The Goodyear Eagle LS2000 partially replaces the traditional carbon black and silica with filler materials derived from corn starch thanks to "BioTRED compounding technology". The new technology increases the tires "flexibility and resistance to energy loss", which extend the tires life-span and lessen the impact on the environment. [55] Similarly, Goodyear announced on April 22, 2008, that it had joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership. The transport partnership is an attempt between the truck transportation industry and the EPA to reduce air pollution and greenhouse emissions as well as increase energy efficiency. The SmartWay partnership's tractors and trailers will use Goodyear's Fuel Max linehaul tires that increase fuel efficiency while reducing emissions. According to Goodyear and EPA officials "the fuel-efficient line-haul tires deliver up to 4% improved truck fuel economy, and when used with other SmartWay-qualified components, each 18- wheel tractor and trailer used in long-haul can produce savings of up to 4,000 gallons per year, or more than $11,000 annually." [56]

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges

On February 24, 2015, Goodyear agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act "FCPA" charges that two of its African subsidiaries allegedly paid $3.2 million in bribes that generated $14,122,535 in illicit profits. [57] The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission "SEC" FCPA charges involved Goodyear subsidiaries in Kenya and Angola for allegedly paying bribes to government and private-sector workers in exchange for sales in each country. [58] According to the SEC because "Goodyear did not prevent or detect these improper payments because it failed to implement adequate FCPA compliance controls at its subsidiaries" and, for the Kenyan subsidiary, "because it failed to conduct adequate due diligence" prior to its acquisition. It was not alleged that Goodyear had any involvement with or knowledge of its subsidiaries' improper conduct. [59]

Internal training and discrimination

On August 18, 2020, WIBW, a local CBS-affiliate television station, reported that an internal PowerPoint slide on political attire from a Topeka, Kansas, training seminar was circulating on social media. [60] The leaked slide depicted a "zero tolerance" policy towards some political movements. [61] President Donald Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear tires the following day, as Trump campaign attire such as MAGA hats were among the banned products. [62] Goodyear responded via Twitter, stating "the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class". [63] Following release of the audio that went with the slide, [64] Goodyear admitted the slide was used at its Topeka factory. [65]

Goodyear products


Wrangler DuraTrac Goodyear Off Road Tire Crandon 2012.jpg
Wrangler DuraTrac
Goodyear NASCAR Tires and Wheels Nascarphx16.jpg
Goodyear NASCAR Tires and Wheels


Goodyear Tire Company mechanic shop in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Goodyear Goodlettsville TN USA.JPG
Goodyear Tire Company mechanic shop in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.
Goodyear Tire shop in Markham, Ontario CasMarkhamTireStore2.jpg
Goodyear Tire shop in Markham, Ontario
2004-06 Ford F-150 Goodyear. '04-'06 Ford F-150 Goodyear Extended Cab.jpg
2004-06 Ford F-150 Goodyear.

Non-tire industrial (licensed products produced by Veyance Technologies)

Goodyear trailer at a NASCAR Nationwide Series race GoodyearTrailerMilwaukeeMile.jpg
Goodyear trailer at a NASCAR Nationwide Series race

Veyance Technologies was purchased by ContiTech and no longer has the rights to Goodyear's licenses. [66]

Goodyear-branded wiper blades are made under license by Saver Automotive, in Ohio. The wipers were never under the Veyance umbrella.

Manufacturing and development facilities

LocationDOT plant code [67] Product or activity [68]
Akron, Ohio, USA MBGlobal headquarters, North America headquarters, Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America headquarters, innovation center, racing tires, chemicals, tire proving grounds, airship operations
Danville, Virginia, USAMCAircraft tires, commercial tires
Lawton, Oklahoma, USAM6Consumer tires
Topeka, Kansas, USAMJCommercial tires, OTR tires
Hebron, Ohio, USAP1Research and development [69]
Fayetteville, North Carolina, USAPJPassenger car tires
Bayport, Texas, USAChemicals
Beaumont, Texas, USASynthetic rubber
Houston, Texas, USASynthetic rubber
Niagara Falls, New York, USAChemicals
Kingman, Arizona, USAAircraft tire retreading
Statesville, North Carolina, USATire molds
Social Circle, Georgia, USATread rubber
Napanee, Ontario, Canada 4BPassenger car tires
Medicine Hat, Alberta, CanadaPCConsumer tires
Valleyfield, Quebec, CanadaMixing center
São Paulo, Brazil MXLatin America headquarters, aircraft tires, aircraft tire retreading
Americana, BrazilY1Tire proving grounds, consumer tires, commercial tires, OTR tires
Lima, Peru NTConsumer tires, commercial tires
Philippsburg, Germany NDHigh-performance passenger car tires, winter tires
Bangkok, Thailand NYConsumer tires, aircraft tires, aircraft retreading
Pulandian, Dalian, China TCConsumer tires, commercial tires
Santiago, Chile M7Consumer tires
Cali, Colombia MYCommercial tires, OTR tires
Amiens, France NCConsumer tires
Waluj, India 1W
Faridabad, IndiaNK
Adapazarı, Turkey COConsumer tires
İzmit, TurkeyPACommercial tires
Selangor, Malaysia T8
Luxembourg, Luxembourg KMGoodyear Innovation center Luxembourg (GIC*L), regional calendering center, commercial tires, OTR tires, tire proving grounds, tire molds, tire plant
Luxembourg, LuxembourgNJ
Dębica, PolandPassenger Car Tires, Truck Tires
Taipei, Taiwan L1
Shahekou, Dalian, China7L
Uitenhage, South Africa NWConsumer tires, commercial tires, agricultural tires, OTR tires
Bogor, Indonesia NL

See also

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Further reading