Goodyear Tires

If you ask a random sampling of people to name a tire company, chances are good that one of the companies they name will be Goodyear Tires. In fact, aside from Bridgestone and Michelin, Goodyear Tires is the third largest tire company in the world. There is a reason Goodyear Tires is so well known. Founded way back in 1898 by Frank Sieberling, Goodyear has been around practically as long as the automobile. Though, of course, as technology has advanced and the business climate has changed, they have diversified during that time, and now produce everything from automobile, commercial and light truck, SUV, race car, airplane and heavy machinery tires.

Goodyear Tires was not always just about tires. In fact, the original Goodyear, when it opened in 1898 with just 13 employees, counted among its line of products poker chips! Of course, even then Goodyear Tires, located in Akron, Ohio, showed signs of becoming the tire giant it is today when it manufactured bicycle and carriage tires. The Goodyear Tires founds were lucky. Though they did not at first manufacture automobile tires, when they saw that automobiles were gaining in popularity, they embraced the product line. By the year 1908, Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor company, was equipping his popular Model T with Goodyear Tires. The rest, as they say, is history.

Goodyear Tires is also a brand of retail locations and service stations that take care of all of a car owner's tire related sales and maintenance needs as well as other general car service needs, such as oil changes, brake jobs, and tune ups. A fun fact about Goodyear Tires is that it is actually not connected at all with Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber. They are also known for that landmark of the skies, the Goodyear Blimp. The Goodyear Blimp is actually a nod to Goodyear Tires’ history of manufacturing blimps and balloons for the United States government during World War I.

Finally, the Goodyear Tire Company came under a cloud of scandal recently when it was found that they paid a female employee significantly less than her male counterparts for the same work for over twenty years. The employee, Lillie Ledbetter, eventually took her grievance to the highest court in the land was responsible for a ground breaking law that allowed women to sue for compensation upon finding out that they had been denied equal pay for equal work. Before the Lillie Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 passed in Congress, women had to sue for equal compensation within a short period of time after the pay discrimination began, no matter if they knew that the discrimination was taking place or not. This policy did not make sense to many people because the human resources policy's of most work places, Goodyear Tires included, made it a fireable offense to inquire about co-worker's paychecks, creating a catch-22 situation for female employees who felt they were being discriminated against.

Despite the scandal of Lillie Ledbetter and a fatal explosion which occurred at a Goodyear Tires plant in 2008, today Goodyear Tires is a multinational corporation that can boast earnings in the billions of dollars. Lillie Ledbetter to the contrary, the company was recognized as one of America's most respected companies in a global opinion survey conducted by the Reputation Institute and Forbes magazine. The company has also been ranked among the Top 100 Corporate Citizens as according to CRO Magazine.

Goodyear Tires is an old company with a storied history that has contributed much to the making of America. Despite the scandals that the company has weathered, recently and in the past, it seems to have earned it's much deserved reputation as a reliable, trusted company.

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