Goodyear Company History Timeline


David Hill, who purchased nearly one-third of the 100,000 dollars worth of stock that the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company issued in 1898, became the company's first president.

Founded as a rubber company by Charles and Frank Seiberling in 1898, Goodyear based its products on the tire designs of Paul Litchfield.

The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, in 1898.


Seiberling’s 1899 application to make carriage tires under Consolidated Tire Company’s patent was refused, so he started manufacturing a similar tire without a license, claiming it was monopolistic for Consolidated to grant patent licenses selectively.


In 1901, Goodyear founder Frank Seiberling provided Henry Ford with racing tires.


The ensuing legal battle meant that Goodyear's first- and second-year profits from the sale of carriage tires were held in escrow until the court decided, in Goodyear's favor, in 1902.


In 1903, Goodyear president, chairman and CEO Paul Weeks Litchfield was granted a patent for the first tubeless automobile tire.


Vinyl flooring introduced, supplementing Goodyear's line of rubber flooring dating back to 1905.


Seiberling followed David Hill to the presidency in 1906, with Paul W . Litchfield, George M. Stadelman, and Frank Seiberling's brother Cha rles Seiberling composing the formative management team.


In 1909, the firm branched out into the aviation industry, producing the first airplane tires.

In 1909 Goodyear started production of airplane tires.


Goodyear's r ubberized fabric, soon used for planes, including the Wright brothers ', also formed the shell of early dirigibles, the production of which commenced in 1910.

In 1910 Litchfield acquired a method for bonding rubber over fabric f rom North British Rubber Company in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1910: Company ventures outside United States for the first tim e, establishing a plant in Canada.


In 1913 some Goodyear workers joined 15,000 other rubber workers in a strike against Akron’s other rubber companies organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The strike was terminated after 48 days by worker vote, but it did mark the beginning of employee-initiated gains in Akron.


In 1915 Litchfield donated an amount equal to his first 15 years' salary, about $100,000, to the factory workers to be used at their discretion.

In 1915 Litchfield donated an amount equal to his first 15 years’ salary, about $100,000, to the factory workers to be used at their discretion.

In 1915 Litchfield donated an amount equal to his first 15 years' salary, about $100,000, to the factory worker s to be used at their discretion.


By 1916, as sales continued to grow, Goodyear adapted the advertising slogan “More people ride on Goodyear tires than on any other tire” and became the largest tire manufacturing company in the world.

Goodyear's tire production rose from 250 per day in 1916 to nearly 4, 000 per day by the end of World War I. The company made 1,000 balloon s and 60 airships during the war, as well as 715,000 gas masks and so me 4.75 million other military supply parts, such as tire valves.


Goodyear felt the squeeze as early as 1918, when it made its first attempt to recapitalize by a direct sale of stock to customers and employees.


In 1919, the firm also developed the first bulletproof gas tank for planes.

In 1919 under Litchfield's direction, Goodyear formed the industrial assembly, a representative body of 60 employees that voiced worker in terests to management.


Looking to expand to foreign countries, the company sought and developed operations in Canada, Australia, Argentina, and the Dutch East Indies by the 1920s.

The effort was not sufficient, and bankruptcy loomed imminent as the book value of its common stock , at $75 million in early 1920, was reduced to zero.


One month after hi s appointment, in June 1921, he had reduced debt from $66 million to $26.5 million.

The founder of the company remained as the firm's president until 1921, when an economic recession prompted him to resign.

In early 1921 the New York law firm of Cravath, Henderson, Liffingwel l & De Gersdorff connected Goodyear with an investment bank, Dill on, Read, & Co., that agreed to manage Goodyear's refinancing and reorganization.

1921: After approaching bankruptcy, Goodyear is refinanced and reorganized.


He spent his first year resolving litigation b egun in 1922 by Goodyear common stockholders to increase their power and improve the position of common and preferred stock.


In 1923 Stadelman moved into the presidency, W ilmer assumed the board chairmanship, and Litchfield moved into the f irst vice presidency.


In 1924, Litchfield forged a joint venture with the German Luftschiffbau Zeppelin Company to form the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation.


On August 5, 1927, Goodyear had its initial public offering and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Goodyear patented its first synthetic rubber, Chemigum, in 1927.


By 1928 the company operated in 145 countries and sales reached $250 million.


On May 22, 1929, the very first Goodyear Blimp, known as the Mayflower, was christened.

Pneumatic tire production falls from more than 23 million units in 1929 to less than 18 million units due to Great Depression.


In 1931 a tire plant was opened just outside Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Goodyear had established a six-hour work day in 1932 to lessen the ef fects of the Great Depression among workers, by reducing layoffs and distributing work as evenly as possible among remaining employees.


In 1934 the company introduced Pliolite, a compound that cemented rubber to metal, and Pliofilm, a packaging material.


The first international convention of the United Rubber Workers (URW) was held in September 1935.

With expansion in mind once again, the company purchased Kelly-Springfield (a tire maker) in 1935, increased its number of company stores, and introduced synthetic rubber tires.

Wh en national price controls were removed in 1935, however, Goodyear re established the eight-hour work day to increase productivity, decreas e its prices, and make its products more competitive.

From the late 1920s to 1940, the company worked with Goodyear to build two Zeppelins in the United States. It acquired their rival Kelly-Springfield Tire in 1935.


Local 2, encouraged by the industrial assembly's tenacity, appealed to the secretary of labo r, who ruled in January 1936 that Goodyear was unjustified in its rev ersion to the eight-hour shift because it had voluntarily established a shorter day.

Goodyear returned to the six-hour day as suggested, but layoffs becam e necessary as tire sales decreased, and the union struck in February 1936.

Another plant was acquired in Akron in 1936, and a Vermont factory was purchased to centralize shoe sole-and-heel production.


Goodyear began producing 200,000 gas masks a month for the United States Army after Adolf Hitler’s April 1939 invasion of Poland.

A Swedish plant was opened in 1939.

In 1939 it cam e out for Goodyear, relieving any threat of future damage claims by d ealers.


Sales increase 52 percent over 1940, reflecting Goodyear's participation in United States military defense program.


In 1941 Goodyear joined other manufacturers to produce parts for 100 B-26 bombers a month.


GAC also pro duced 4,008 Vought Corsair FG1 fighter planes, beginning in 1943.


In 1944, Goodyear created a subsidiary in Mexico in a joint venture with Compañía Hulera, S.A. de C.V., Compañía Hulera Goodyear-Oxo, S.A. de C.V. or Goodyear-Oxo.


GAC released almost 27,000 employees, reducing its payroll to 2,000 by 1946.

Demobilization increased demand for consum er tires, and sales increased to 25 million in 1946-47.


In 1947, the first nylon tires were developed for the consumer market.


In it s 50th year, 1948, Goodyear reached a peacetime sales record of $ 705 million.


In 1951 Goodyear became the first rubber company to exceed $1 billion in sales in one year.


A subsidiary, Goodyear Atomic Corp., was founded in 1952 w hen the government selected the company to operate a $1.2 billion atomic plant under construction in Pike County, Ohio.


The facility opened in 1954.

In 1954 Goodyear acquired its first new plantation in 20 years in Bel em, Brazil.


In 1955 it acquired two government-owned rubber factories it had operated during the war.

In 1955 at Goodyear’s Gadsden, Alabama, plant, an $11.5 million investment elevated it to the largest tire-making facility in the United States.

Much of the increase was due to new rubber products such as fo am rubber, film, and plastics, and growth was fueled by newly develop ing synthetic rubbers such as polyisoprene, introduced by Goodyear in 1955 and called Natsyn, for commercial purposes.


In 1958 Thomas became chairman of the board, and Litchfield moved to honorary chairman.

The subsidiary received a $65 million contract in 1958 to produce Subroc, an antisubmarine missile.

De Young appointed Robert H. Lane as public relations director in 1958.


Production of foam-padded instrument panels begin for 1959 model cars.

In 1959 the company added a $3 million aeronautics research and development laboratory in Litchfield Park, Arizona, to supplement GAC 's activities.


In 1960 Goodyear bu ilt a $20 million synthetic rubber plant in Beaumont, Texas; its annual production of 40,000 tons of Natsyn equaled the annual generat ion of 15,000 acres of rubber trees.


In 1963, the Goodyear reached the milestone of producing its one billionth tire.


The company became the United States industry leader for tire sales by 1966.

In 1966, two years after Victor Holt assumed the presidency, Goodyear opened its tenth United States tire plant, in Danville, Virginia.


A.J. Foyt rides to victory at the Indianapolis 500, and Dennis Hulme wins the 1967 World Driving Championship, both on Goodyear tires.


Sales for 1969 topped $3 billion.


Custom Steelgard Radial tire introduced — the only steel-belted radial accepted by all United States carmakers for their 1973 models.

Goodyear's 75th anniversary year, 1973, was marred by the debilitatin g Middle East oil crisis.

GA C had expanded at a compound annual rate of 17 percent from 1973 to 1 983, providing a 20 percent return on investment.


When Charles J. Pilliod Jr. became CEO in 1974, he faced a major investment decision regarding the radial tire, which today has a market share of nearly 100%. Despite heavy criticism at the time, Pilliod invested heavily in new factories and tooling to build the radial tire.


The radial tire equipped 45% of United States cars by 1976, and Goodyear was the world’s largest radial producer.


In 1977 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Goodyear of maintaining a clandestine fund of $1.5 million to make foreig n and domestic political contributions and government and labor bribe s.

1977: Goodyear introduces its Tiempo radial, its most successf ul tire yet.


Sales are $8.4 billion and earnings are up 57.8 percent over 1979 to $230.7 million.


Goodyear establishes record sales and earnings for 1980.

By 1980 despite national and global recession, Goodyear had record earnings of $264.8 million and had reduced debt to its lowest level in 17 years.


In 1983 Pilliod retired, Mercer became chief executive officer, and Tom H. Barrett was voted presiden t.

In 1983, Goodyear acquired the natural gas company Celeron Corporation in exchange for stock valued at more than $740 million.

Having won the ten-year battle to remain leader of the tire market, G oodyear entered the 1980s planning to scale some other peaks. Its div ersification goal was to reduce tire revenues to one-half of corporat e earnings and generate the other half through its GAC subsidiary and Celeron Corp., a Louisiana oil and gas concern purchased in 1983.


Labich, Kenneth, "The King of Tires Is Discontented," Fortune, May 28, 1984.

In 1984 his estate was awarded a $9.6 million settlement from Goodyear, one of the largest wrongful death payments in history.


By 1985, worldwide sales exceeded $10 billion.


In October 1986 British financier James Goldsmith in conjunction with the investment group Hanson purchased 11.5% of Goodyear's outstanding common stock.

On November 20, 1986, Goodyear acquired all of the stock held by Goldsmith's group (12,549,400 shares) at an above-market price of $49.50 per share.


In 1987, Goodyear formed a business partnership with Canadian tire retailer Fountain Tire.

In the years following 1987, the company invested in its tire business.


Goodyear produces the first original equipment, 17-inch, Z-speed-rated performance tire, the Eagle ZR40 Gatorback, for the 1988 Chevrolet Corvette.

Barrett became chief executive officer in 1988 and rem ained president.


President Tom Barrett succeeded Chairman Robert Mercer in 1989, and began a process of modernizing and expanding Goodyear plants in cities like Lawton, Oklahoma, Napanee, Canada, Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Scottsboro, Alabama.


Yet Goodyear rema ined committed to its annual research and development budget of more than $300 million a year, confident in this as a source of qualit y tires, such as 1990's Eagle GA and Eagle GT+4, successful luxury ca r models.

1990: Goodyear suffers its first net loss since the Great Depr ession.


In 1991 alone four new Goody ear tires for the replacement market were introduced, the flagship of which was the Aquatread, an all-season passenger tire specially desi gned to provide better traction on rain-slickened roads.

1991: First outsider is selected to lead Goodyear: Stanley C. Gault; Aquatred radial debuts.

The last major restructuring of the company took place in 1991.


More troubling was Gault’s 1992 decision to sell, once again, Goodyear-brand tires at Sears, more than half a century after it had stopped doing so.

Goodyear was also able by 1992 to reduce its lon g-term debt to a much healthier $1.47 billion.


In 1993 the company entered into a joint ventu re in India with Ceat Ltd. to form South Asia Tyres Private Limited a nd build a $150 million tire plant in India.


All-time record sales for 1994 are $12.3 billion, with record income of $567 million.


In 1995 the company's retail ti re presence was beefed up through the purchase of 860 Penske Auto Cen ters and more than 300 Montgomery Ward-operated auto centers.


Under the leadership of Samir Gibara, who succeeded chairman Stanley Gault as CEO in 1996, the company has aimed to become number one or number two in each of its markets and to become the lowest-cost manufacturer among the three tire and rubber industry leaders.

In North America, Goodyear's distribution grew by more than 10 percent in 1996.

Approximately 1,000 retail stores are operated in the United States, which accounted for 54 percent of sales in 1996.

More than 5,000 employees joined the company through four major acquisitions made in 1996.


In January 1997 Goodyear acquired a 60 percent interest in Contred, South Africa's largest manufacturer of tires, power transmissions, and conveyor belts, with 195 retail stores and 41 retreading plants.

Eighty-six percent of the company's 1997 sales have been attributed to car and truck tires.

Goodyear achieved strong financial performance in 1997 with income from operations improving for the seventh consecutive year.

Goodyear faced highly competitive pricing conditions in the first quarter of 1997.

Officers: Samir G. Gabira, Chmn., CEO & Pres., 58, 1997 salary $1,571,373; William J. Sharp, Pres., Global Support Operations, 57, 1997 salary $793,260; Robert W. Tieken, Exec.

The University of Akron received a $3 million gift from Goodyear in 1997 to establish the Goodyear Chair of Intellectual Property in the School of Law and the Goodyear Global Scholarship Program in the College of Business Administration.

moody's handbook of common stocks, winter 1997-98, new york: moody's investors service, inc., 1997.

In the spring of 1997 Goodyear had to endure its first strike in more than 20 years, when 12,500 United Steelworkers of America members went out on strike.

In the s pring of 1997 Goodyear had to endure its first strike in more than 20 years, when 12,500 United Steelworkers of America members went out o n strike.


narisetti, raju. "goodyear plans product improvements to bolster sales, and posts small profit." the wall street journal, 10 february 1998.

"remaining contred stake is bought for $59 million." the wall street journal, 3 march 1998.

the value line investment survey, 13 march 1998. new york: value line publishing, inc., 1998.

Goodyear announces withdrawal from Formula 1 racing after 1998 season.

The acquisition of Contred, which was completed in 1998, rounds out the company's re-entry into the South African tire market.

In 1998 the company was hiring additional engineers and scientists to support its expanded product and process technology.

Goodyear's centennial anniversary was in 1998.


By mid-1999 this process was complete, and the Kelly-Springf ield offices were shut down.


Keegan had joined Goodyear in October 2000 as president and chief operating officer, having previously spent 28 years at Eastman Kodak Company, where he rose to president of the company's global consumer imaging business.

Aiming to be ranked as the world's best tire and rubber company by the year 2000, the company has established new development teams to research future trends of the industry.

The company barely eked out a profit in 2000 as it struggled under the weight of high raw materials costs, a strong dollar, a heavy debt load (largely attributable to the Sumitomo deal), and slowing orders from automakers.


Further job cuts followed later in 2001 as Goodyear moved somewhat be latedly to restructure its enlarged overseas operations.


2002: Company reports a record net loss of $1.25 billion, bringing the firm close to bankruptcy.


Keegan added the chairmanship as well in July 2003.

Financial goals for the company are for profitable and sustainable growth and for "cost leadership." The company has set a goal of $20 billion in revenues by 2003.


As part of its ongoing efforts to divest noncore businesses, Goodyear in July 2004 had announced its intention to sell its chemical produc ts division.

Through the se and other measures, and with the return of its North American Tire unit to profitability, Goodyear returned to the black in 2004, recor ding net income of $114.8 million on record sales of $18.37 b illion.

The unit, producer of rubber hoses, conveyor belts, air springs, and tracks for military vehicles, generated $1.47 billion in reve nue in 2004.


In September 2005 the company put its engineered products business up for sale.

The company later changed course, concluding it made mor e sense to keep the business, and at the beginning of 2005 the divisi on was integrated into the North American Tire unit.

In 2005, Titan Tire purchased the farm tire business of Goodyear, and manufactures Goodyear agricultural tires under license.


In the summer of 2009, the company announced it would close its tire plant in the Philippines as part of a strategy to address uncompetitive manufacturing capacity globally by the end of the third quarter of that year.


Goodyear announces plans to begin production of 63-inch OTR tires in 2010.


Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G:2 introduced with original equipment fitments on 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.


Goodyear extends exclusive tire supply agreement with NASCAR through 2012, 50-year relationship with race series.


Nissan selects Dunlop tires for 2013 GT-R. Goodyear wins fitment on New Embraer military airlifter and tanker jet.


Goodyear debuts online tire sales in United States Goodyear Eagle tires chosen exclusively for 2016 Chevrolet Camaro.


In 2018, Goodyear and Bridgestone announced the creation of TireHub, a joint wholesale distribution network across the United States.

In 2018, Goodyear was ordered to pay $40.1 million to J. Walter Twidwell, who claimed he developed mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos.


Goodyear Financial News. “Goodyear Has Purchased Raben Tire.” December 19, 2019.


In February 2021, Goodyear announced that it will acquire the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company for $2.5 billion.


"The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved June 21, 2022 from

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Goodyear is 125 years old.

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Frank Seiberling founded Goodyear.

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