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The Truth About Goodyear Tires

Fitment Industries Author | | June 14th, 2018 |

  • - America!


    - Why are we yelling, I don't know why you're yelling, I don't really do the whole yelling thing. That was my bad but, how else would you explain one of the first companies in the United States of America to begin making tires. The first company to do pretty much anything tire related. That's what we're here to talk about in this episode of tires history, which is none other than Goodyear Tires. So hit play, wait, no that's part of the intro. See, I said hit it and then it says play intro... I (beep) it up. You're gonna need to pause it.
    - [Stewie] You suck!
    Taking it back to 1898, to a man named Frank Seiberling. Now, Frank was a son of American-German entrepreneur, who just liked making money and he was from Ohio. Probably the only exciting thing to ever come out of Ohio.
    Damn! He spent some time in college, kind of just you know, wanted to be a millionaire, and who didn't want to be a millionaire in the 19th century? But Frank really just kept, I don't know, getting involved in all sorts of things. Frank ended up going and heading into a bar in Chicago, where he was just planning on having a couple drinks then from there, he heard from a man talking across from the bar, which is all rumor by the way, about a factory that was about to close down, it was really for sale for pennies on the dollar. Frank really just wanted to try his hand at something and he figured, you know if I'm gonna take a risk, might as well do it now. Frank ended up buying this place, but he didn't have any money, and the word on the street for the story of how Frank managed to acquire the factory, is that he got drunk with the man, went to his sister's house, and convinced his brother-in-law to loan him $3,500 for the initial down payment on the factory that we would come to know for Goodyear Tire. Now here's the thing with Goodyear Tire, is they had absolutely no idea what they were going to do with the factory. He just knew that he wanted to buy one, and really when it came down to the rubber industry in the late 1800s, it was already saturated with bicycle tire companies. There really was already companies doing what he wanted to do. So Frank and his brother launched the company Goodyear Tire.

    - Goodyear, essentially, right when they got out of the gates, they already started having trouble with pretty much everyone. Kelly Springfield, at the time, which was the largest carriage company at the time. They fought with patents, technologies, processes, the courts themselves. It wasn't until really, he convinced the lot of courts and pretty much through every single lawsuit that he just wasn't doing anything wrong. He was an entrepreneur, but he wasn't necessarily a business owner. He was really good at making sure the products that he was going to make, were just going to work, but he didn't want to necessarily have to be the person to get involved and say, let's fight all these legal battles and do this and do this. Frank was just like, hey man you're making a tire this way. We're gonna make it this way. And then he'd go to the court and be like, Yo this is different. The courts would be like, God damnit Frank, stop making the same tire. But really, it was weird because just randomly, after one of the biggest probably legal battles Goodyear ever faced, the court just decided, hey you can make your tires the way that you want to. Now that's a vast over-simplification of what happened. Don't sue me, but that's pretty much what had occurred. What ended up happening with Goodyear, is they found out that the original tire patent that they were duplicating was no patent at all. It was just something that the previous company was trying to battle to punch them out before they were actually able to make money and Goodyear just stuck with it. They decided to keep making more money. And they developed a lot of different processes and patents to start leading the game when it came to tires. The original employee company had only 13 employees, who were busy making Goodyear successful. So while that was happening, Frank was just kind of making inventions and stuff. There was one specifically, that really set Goodyear on the map, and that was the one that we know, which essentially made it from going from five tires made per 10 hour work day to 6o tires per 10 hours. Now, it was pretty easy to do because they could just find a really easy way to make tires. It was less maintenance, they could detach them easier. Use different cloth, they had all sorts of processes that was pretty much a middle finger to the industry at the time because Goodyear was just like, hey.
    By 1926, Goodyear really was one of the largest companies in the world with over 230 million in sales. A lot of Goodyear's history is essentially within their initial three to four decades because from there, once they got through the legal battles, they really did explode.

    Now, well, a lot of things were going good for Goodyear, there was some things that were really not going so good for Goodyear. There was a lot of strikes back in the day, in terms of working conditions because factory labor was so new at the time. So while the rubber tire company was making plays so was the United Rubber Workers.
    United Rubber Workers.
    In fact, the URW single-handedly made it extremely difficult for Goodyear to pretty much do anything. They almost shut down if they weren't going to increase the essential benefits of the time. What ended up happening is Goodyear found that they really couldn't win this battle.
    ♪ it's a shame I had to get my ♪ (bleep) whooped on this beautiful day ♪
    - URW made a lot of these working conditions much better for the workers for Goodyear at the time, and because it was so new, Goodyear really didn't know what to expect and after that they just continued to grow with their union division that made the tires. So let's just hit you with a few accomplishments that Goodyear essentially created. In 1963, they produced over one billion tires. In 1971, they were the first tires on the moon. Like how do you, you can brag about that. In 1992, they made the first run-on flat tires in the industry. In 1999, they essentially partnered with Sumitomo rubber industry, which if you didn't know, I talked about in the previous video, when we were talking about Toyo, to become the world's largest tire player. In 2009, they partnered with NASA again to make more stuff for the moon I guess. I don't know, maybe the moon just likes tires. Essentially, their tires range from everything, from all seasons to winter to summer only. Their specialty though, is really nothing besides just affordable all-season standard tires. They're high-end tires don't have the same following as Toyo or Nitto. It's unlikely that they're going to break the mold with any sort of crazy summer tires coming soon. But Goodyear is just one of those brands that is so involved with everything that they just are probably part of your life and you don't even know it. Goodyear is probably the biggest proponent of any sort of rubber industry in the world. Especially, when it comes to tires. I mean, they are involved in motor sport. They are one of the sole producers for NASCAR. But I tell you what, Goodyear is a damn good American company because gosh darn it, if you like Busch Light, America, flags, freedom and everything that has to do with turning left; you know Goodyear's a good company. They're definitely the definition of biting off more than you can chew;

    - [Dad] Did he bite you?
    - [Child] No.
    - Because their history's so sophisticated and confusing that even if you look at their about us on their website; it's absolutely insane. They have dedicated material to like every year that Goodyear did something. Like the time Frank took a poop in 1936 or the time John decided to go on the roof and fly a kite. I mean, Goodyear has everything about their brand. Imagine being that CEO, I mean, that is just insane to me. You know Goodyear because of who they are and how they started and if there was ever a story you wanted to tell a young kid about becoming an entrepreneur, you tell them the Goodyear story. So that's everything that we have on Goodyear Tire history. Now there is a ton of more information. So if you guys have any questions, or you want to learn more, we'll drop a couple links for you, if you're interested. But of course, check out our website, Fitment Industries dot com. Bet you didn't see that sales pitch coming. Wheels, tires, suspension, and air lift is available on our site if you're interested. Also, add your car to our gallery if you've got an after market car. We're the fastest growing online gallery. It's pretty neat and of course, last, but not least, subscribe. We're trying to get to 50 thousand subscribers, and we can do that by when you guys click the button. So we can make more videos and stuff. But we truly hope you guys enjoyed this one. I had a ton of fun researching this one, and I cannot wait to get off the camera because it's Friday and it's beautiful out and I'm sitting right next to my car.
    Oh, I blinked with the wrong eye. But I'm Alex from Fitment Industries. We'll see ya later, peace.