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Fitment Industries Author | | May 24th, 2018 |

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    - How should I put my feet? It's kind of like a; you can't do cross leg 'cause nobody Because guys don't like guys that do that. Hi guys what's going on. It's Alex from Fitment Industries. And today we're gonna be talking to you about Falken Tires. That didn't seem very exciting. So we're gonna try it again. Mario recut this one. Hey guys what's going on? It's Alex from Fitment Industries and today we're gonna be talking to you about Falken Tires in this episode of Tire History. So I hope you're ready to put up with my beardless face for a couple minutes so I can teach you some things. Falken Tires was a tire brand that was founded in 1983. It didn't come to the United States until 1985. Falken Tires is a subsidiary or a partner company of a big boy company called Sumitomo Rubber Industries. Sumitomo is a rubber industry manufacturing company that is based out of Japan and is probably the largest rubber manufacturer industry in the world. And they have always been involved in just the rubber manufacturing industry. In fact they wanted to just kind of do everything.

    I mean why wouldn't you. They made golf balls, tennis balls, and they just decided that they wanted to make tires too. Consumers were just like sure. That's it. That's really the entire conversation. Sumitomo has just been at the forefront of everything and anything rubber related. And when they decided to start getting into it more heavily they partnered with any company that they could. Now Sumitomo originally got involved with tire manufacturing in 1909 with a company called Dunlop. You may have heard of 'em before. They came from Britain and they wanted to partner in a company in Japan. Just because the resources and the workforce was available there at a much cheaper price. And Sumitomo came on board and said yes. We can do that. And they just decided to create a partnership. And it worked very well for them for a very long time. As the years progressed, the two companies essentially became friends with benefits. They just continued to grow and intermingle either in Japan or just throughout the world. And things tended to get a little bit messy. Because Dunlop started to find themselves getting more and more liquidated and everything got really confusing and Sumitomo was like hey we'll buy you and Dunlop was like well how. I thought we were like good friends. And Sumitomo's like yeah well we just kind of want to have everything. Dunlop and Sumitomo essentially reconfigured and split partnership ways and Sumitomo turned into SRI. Which is Sumitomo Rubber Industries. And Dunlop still considers to be a brand that they use and develop and produce for but Sumitomo took a really big bite out of their industry just because they wanted to continue to grow.

    Now everything kind of looked up for Sumitomo until they essentially had another partnership with a company that you may not have heard of. That company is Goodyear. Which I actually hope that you've heard of Goodyear before. But I don't know if that was sarcastic enough. I don't really even know if it was funny. But we're just gonna continue talking about it. As if the joke was just never said. Because it's just Mario and I here in a dark room with one light on. So it's kind of weird anyway. Moving forward. Sumitomo and Goodyear had a pretty long lasting relationship. It lasted about 18 years. Until they essentially dissolved the partnership in around 2015. But all you really need to know is Falken is part of SRI. And SRI is a huge conglomerate of a rubber manufacturing industry company that makes tires for probably about six to eight different tire brands. If you're looking to argue on if a Falken is better than Ohtsu or Ohtsu's better than this or something is better than that, they kind of all just trickle back to the same place. Falken really didn't enter the market like a lot of other companies usually do. You see when a tire manufacturing company comes into a market they usually come out with like a bunch of marketing money, a bunch of plans to integrate into the consumer world, and then just blast the hell out of anything and everything they can so people just started running their wheels.

    On top of that, they're really just looking for a company that would maybe host OEM application or something like that for you know your Ford or your Chevy or something in America that Americans enjoy. Falken just didn't do that. Instead what they wanted to do, is they wanted to find a way that people would just essentially trust the name Falken before they would buy them. And they did that with the best way you could possibly get involved in terms of using tires. Motor sports. Falken began getting involved in any sort of motor sport they possibly could. Now because they really had a huge company behind them, they really didn't have a lot of money to just go out and start mass promoting all over every single auto cross or rally or race style event that they could. Instead they started off with the small stuff and with the stuff that was local to their business. In Japan they started out in 1985 promoting just different events that ran Falken Tires. And it began to work. Falken didn't really get involved in making a tire for a consumer and then get involved in racing and then kind of reverse engineered it like most companies do. Falken instead just went and they made tires for a race car driver. Or just enthusiasts that was out you know in the back doing world rally championship style stuff with their old (bleep) car.

    They would then take that feedback from the people that actually ran these vehicles, turned them into a tire that could be used. Then they sold them to consumers. And that's why Falken is just known as an ultra high performance you know tire company that just specializes in what they know. Instead of going to try and make a ton of money right away, they just wanted to focus on what made a tire good and then went to the consumers and was like yo you should buy this. And the consumer was like, sure. But you're not really that old. And then Falken was like yeah, but you know, 18s 18. Anyway you get the point. Falken just kind of got involved in anything that they could. They began distribution in Glendale, California in 1985. But it wasn't until 1990, that they actually developed a headquarters in Ranchero Cucumberino. Ranchero Cucumber o, cucumberino. Cumbero. Ranchero cumbero. I wish I was joking. Rancho Cucamonga. And Falken just continued to grow. They grow naturally with a lot of the Sumitomo background behind them. They had a lot of history on how to make affordable tires that just wouldn't break the bank. And Falken continued to have a pretty cool point of view especially in the United States and in Japan of being willing to just kind of do whatever they wanted.

    Falken wasn't necessarily under the microscope on what sort of tires they needed to make so Falken just got to be the cool younger brother that just tried to see what would work and what didn't. Taking place in Irwindale in 2003, Falken decided to partner with a bunch of race teams that specialized in drifting. Now in the USA there's always been a little bit of kind of like a give, give, give, take, take, take, sort of mentality. Especially coming from like the Japan automotive enthusiasts which is where the grass roots drifting truly started. But in 2013 in Irwindale, it became apparent that this was a sport that Americans would love. And Falken was all over it when it came to marketing and promotion. They were all over cars. They were all over the news. They were all over marketing and blah, blah, blah, blah. 'Cause Falken wanted to figure out a way to introduce their brand to the market of the United States of America. And it worked. That was the reason that Falken probably still exists in the United States market as a pretty prominent tire brand in the United States and after that essentially launch, Falken began to grow in the domestic market. They continued to make different types of tires for pretty much anybody that needed 'em. And as they kind of got a little bit more comfortable the belt got looser, they decided to make tires that weren't really ultra high performance, but were more all season or truck or passenger light. A lot of the reports and reviews on Falken tires, report that most of them are pretty good. Especially in the early stages of the life, but they get pretty much hell of loud once they get over that 7 8,000 mile marker.

    Falken really doens't kind of talk about why they just really continue to make tires and it works out for them so far. But they do drifty drift things. So that's pretty cool. Falken on top of that, I don't think will really delve into making extreme creative tires because they just don't need to. Falken is still a pretty huge supporter of the drift scene here in the United States and they continue to make tires that work for people if that's really what you wanna do. But Falken doesn't have the same sort of huge brand loyalty I would say as Toyo or Nitto or something of that nature. So that is everything that we have on Falken Tires. Let us know in the comments what you'd like to see next. But of course, please be sure to subscribe. And if you're looking for tires, we actually have wheels, tires, suspension, air lift. I'm sure you've heard it a million times. I'm Alex from Fitment Industries. We will see you later. Peace.