6 Oldest Tire Manufacturer in the World

Tires were one of man’s greatest inventions. Without them, it’s safe to say that the world we know it today wouldn’t quite go around the way it does! We’d be pretty lost if tires disappeared from the world, but thankfully, they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. 

Even though the wheel was invented thousands of years ago, tires were a relatively new and modern invention. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the world’s oldest tire manufacturers. 

Let’s get right into it. 

The Oldest Tire Manufacturers in the World

6. Sumitomo Rubber Industries

Year founded: 1909
Founder: Masatomo Sumitomo
Headquarters: 3-6-9 Wakinohama-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 651-0072, Japan

Sumitomo Rubber IndustriesPhoto Source

In addition to tennis balls and golf balls, Sumitomo Rubber Industries also manufactures tires. This company is over a hundred years old and is one of the best tire companies in the world. 

Did you know?

Sumitomo formed a partnership with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Each company agreed to manufacture tires for the other company’s market!

5. Goodyear

Year founded: 1898
Founder: Frank Seiberling
Headquarters: Akron, Ohio, U.S.

GoodyearPhoto Source

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio. This company manufactures tires for all kinds of vehicles, including motorcycles, RVs, off-road machinery, commercial trucks, and even aviation! 

This company was named after the founder of vulcanized rubber, Charles Goodyear. This company also solely supplies NASCAR with tires, and is the most successful Formula One tire supplier in history. 

Did you know?

The Goodyear Blimp is considered to be one of the most recognizable and widely know advertising icons in the United States.

4. Nokian Tyres

Year founded: 1898
Founder: Suomen Gummitehdas Osakeyhtiö
Headquarters: Nokia, Finland

Nokian TyresPhoto Source

Located in Finland, this company is widely known for manufacturing winter tires and also for replacing tires on consumer cars. While the origins of the company are still slightly uncertain, it was first started as a pulp mill, and as time went on, the company first started manufacturing bicycle tires. Later on, they went on to manufacture and sell car tires, before shifting their focus onto winter tires. 

Did you know? 

Nokian Tyres was the most profitable tire manufacturer in the world in 2008.

3. Michelin

Year founded: 1889
Founder: Édouard Michelin and André Michelin
Headquarters: Clermont-Ferrand, France

MichelinPhoto Source

If the name Michelin rings a bell, it’s probably because this particular tire manufacturer is one of the oldest and most widely known tire companies in the world. It’s also the biggest tire manufacturer worldwide, second only to Bridgestone. This company was founded in Clermont-Ferrand, France, by Édouard and André Michelin way back in 1889! They first helped out a young person whose cycle tire needed repair. After patching it up and testing it out, they realized that the patching did not work. However, Édouard Michelin was confident about the type of tire, and he worked on a new version of it that did not need patching or gluing to the rim of a bicycle. 

Since then, the company has seen unprecedented success. 

Did you know?

In additon to tires, Michelin is known for its travel guides, roadmaps, and perhaps most famous of all, the Michelin stars that its travel guide awards to restaurants!

2. Continental AG

Year founded: 1872
Founder: Giovanni Battista Pirelli
Headquarters: Milan, Italy

Continental AGPhoto Source

Continental AG is another one of the oldest known tire manufacturers in the entire world. This German company makes more than just tires! They specialize in chassis components, tires, brake system vehicle electronics, and so much more. 

Did you know?

During the Nazi era, the employees at this company were forced to join the Nazi party, and all Jewish employees were expected to resign effective immediately.

1. Pirelli

Year founded: 1872
Founder: Giovanni Battista Pirelli
Headquarters: Milan, Italy

PirelliPhoto Source

Pirelli is one of the oldest tire companies in the world! This company was founded in 1872 and originally specialized in rebreathers for scuba diving. Later on, however, the company pivoted to making tires. They also began manufacturing cables for telecommunications and energy purposes. 

Today, Pirelli is one of the world’s top 10 tire manufacturers, producing tires in several different continents, including the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America, and even the Post-Soviet States. 

Did you know? 

Pirelli is the inventor of the wide radial tire! The Italian car company Lancia requested that Pirelli create a tire that was durable enough to endure the Lancia Stratos’ power. The racing tires of the time were either too weak or narrow to withstand the pressures of various cars. Therefore, Pirelli came up with a solution!


In this article, we walked you through some of the oldest tire companies in the world. As we mentioned in the introduction, wheels, and by default, tires, all make the modern world go round! If we’ve missed out on any tires, be sure to let us know. 

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