New discoveries become new technologies and new technologies become new products to give better performance, more safety and greater economic benefits. Innovation has been at the forefront of Goodyear’s ethos since 1898. Our culture of creation has given us everything from our very brand – we’re named after Charles Goodyear, inventor of the vulcanization process – to the reputation for excellence that has made us one of the world's largest tyre manufacturers. Today we employ around 67,000 people, manufacturing products in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world and with annual sales of $18.1 billion*. *Annual sales figure refers to 2014
Today we employ around 67,000 people, manufacturing products in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world and with annual sales of $18.1 billion*. *Annual sales figure refers to 2014
We were there
At Goodyear our scientists are proud to draw on over 115 years of innovation in discovery, design and manufacture for the inspiration that fuels today’s research.
The discovery of Vulcanization
To really improve the wheel it needed a revolutionary technological breakthrough. What took place was an accident that would change things forever. Charles Goodyear had been making rubber products since the 1830s. However, rubber could not be treated so that it could withstand hot and cold temperatures and acids.
Rubber goods always became sticky over time and decomposed. In 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered that heating natural rubber and sulfur created vulcanized rubber. His experiment produced the vulcanizing process that we know today, which makes rubber into a durable material.
Ford Model T
A real breakthrough was the production of the Model T Ford. Being mass produced on an assembly line rather than hand-built, it made individual mobility affordable to middle-class America. In 1907,
Goodyear delivered the first 1,200 sets of tyres to Henry Ford for use on Model T cars. Motorized mobility became a realistic choice for the general public.
First pneumatic truck tire
Goodyear introduced the first pneumatic truck tire in 1917. Until then, road transport was uncomfortable and unreliable. And because of load-limits, it was also inefficient to transport goods on long routes with trucks.
With the introduction of the first pneumatic truck tire, Goodyear also started its first cross-country (Akron to Boston in the US) truck line, the Wingfoot Express. Their first trip took 24 days!
Standard semi-trailers use wheels and tyres in pairs, which are heavy and expensive, and make maintenance difficult. To improve this, Goodyear introduced super single trailer tyres, which meant that twin wheels and tyres could be replaced with single tyre and rim.
This significantly reduced weight and therefore permitted a greater payload. It also meant fewer components, less maintenance and less rolling resistance; all significantly reducing overall costs. Fuel economy – 1970s
Goodyear Truck Racing tyres with RFID technology
Goodyear has been supplying Truck Racing Tyres to the FIA European Truck Race Championship since 2004. These tyres can handle some extreme conditions (A race truck weighs at least 5,500 kilograms and travels at speeds up to 160 km/h).
Goodyear Truck Racing tyres have RFID (Radio Frequency Identity) built in, giving each tyre a unique identity.
Services and Solutions
Innovation is not restricted to tyres it also covers services and solutions. Today Fleet operators are looking more and more to tyre manufacturers to provide tyre management support. In 2003 Goodyear introduced FleetOnlineSolutions (FOS) to significantly improve tyre management and reduce paperwork for the customer. FOS became part of a range of Goodyear’s customer support services, introduced in 2006, called FleetFirst.
FleetFirst includes the European TruckForce service network, ServiceLine 24h roadside assistance, FOS and Goodyear´s comprehensive retreading offer. In 2008 FOS mobile was introduced providing an even more comprehensive tire management program and improvements have been regularly introduced and continue today.