Firestone Tires

The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was one of the innovators in the tire industry. The company has continued to grow in popularity over the past century. Now, Firestone tires are one of the most common choices and can be found at various auto parts stores. Whether buying new tires for high performance vehicles, race cars, or just a family car, Firestone tires are a reliable choice to make.

History of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
In 1900, Harvey Firestone founded The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. The company began manufacturing Firestone tires for wagons, and other transportation methods that require wheels. Shortly after, Firestone tires were also manufactured for automobiles as well. Firestone was one of the first companies to mass produce their tires for automobiles.

When the company first opened, there were only a dozen employees. By 1906, the company gained quite a bit of popularity as Firestone tires were added to the Ford Model T design. For almost 75 years, Firestone and Goodyear remained at the top of the industry and were responsible for the majority of sales.

Sale of the Company
The company grew deep in debt and owed over a billion dollars. By the end of 1979, John Nevin (former head of Zenith Electronics) was put in charge of Firestone tires to help soften the blow of the debt. During this time, John Nevin shut down over half of the manufacturing plants. He also relocated the company to Chicago.

He began investing in businesses that weren’t tire related in an attempt to increase the price of Firestone stock. The plan worked and it eventually helped raise the value of the company for when the time came to sell it. In 1988, Firestone was purchased by the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation.

Other Firestone Products
There were many investments made that weren’t related to the tire industry. When John Nevin was investing in other businesses, he invested in the Firestone Country Club. There have also been quite a few products manufactured under the Firestone name. This includes the Firestone Coverdeck and Firestone RubberGard, and hundreds of other products.

Besides the interest in Firestone tires, there was also a lot of interest in Firestone roofing products. Since these products gained a lot of popularity amongst consumers, the Firestone Company opened a new division. The new division supplied various roofing and building supplies and was opened under the name, “Firestone Building Products.”

Product Recall
It’s not uncommon for an established company to have to recall products at some point. There are various reasons why a product may not perform up to par. If a product isn’t performing the way it should, a recall is necessary for the company to keep a positive image. While Firestone tires have been produced to perfection for over a hundred years, there have still been some issues. The most notable would be a large recall that took place in 2000.

88 deaths occurred in auto related accidents while operating Ford Explorer vehicles, which were designed with Firestone tires. Millions of Firestone tires were recalled in a result of this. The amount of Firestone tires recalled in comparison to the amount of tires that were made was rather small, but the faulty tires were targeted. Most incidents were in the Southern states, and the issue related to how well the tires performed while in severe heats and driving at highway speeds.

After more than a century in business, Firestone tires are still a very popular choice when purchasing replacement tires, or dealing with new vehicles. The company has established a positive image in the tire industry and is one of the most dominant and long running manufacturers of vehicle tires. As well, the company has had success with manufacturing non-tire related products. However, the Firestone tires are still the top seller for the company.

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