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Where the Tire Manufacturers Got Their Names

goodyear used tireEvery company has a story to tell, but not just about the products that it manufactures or the services that it offers – but about their origins. Just for fun, here’s a look at some of the notable origins. Who knows, maybe one of these will be a Jeopardy final question one day and you can impress your friends with your vast amount of tire knowledge…

What’s in a Name?

  • Bridgestone: Shojiro Ishibashi. That’s who founded the company and spearheaded the very first tire that the company produced way back on April 9, 1930. So what does the “Bridgestone” name have to do with any of this? It’s all in the founder’s name. “Ishi” translates to “stone” and “bashi” translates to “bridge.” Hence, you have Bridgestone.
  • Goodyear: The origins of the Goodyear name are actually a hat-tip to tires – and rubber. Specifically, the Akron, Ohio-based tire manufacturer is named after Charles Goodyear, the man who is responsible for inventing vulcanized rubber. Vulcanized rubber was invented in 1839, almost 60 years before Goodyear was founded.
  • Vogue Tyres: “Vogue” is defined as “fashionable and popular” or “as the prevailing fashion at a particular time.” And whitewall tires were unquestionably once the country’s most popular tire, which the Vogue Tyre and Rubber Co. is credited for inventing. The company even patented a gold stripe in 1960 to give whitewall tires even more style. Today, Vogue Tyres provides tires for custom professional and high-end vehicles. Not quite as “vogue” anymore, but you get the point.
  • Nokian Tyres: Nokian Tyres is named after the Finland city that it is headquartered in – Nokia. Another neat factoid about this tire manufacturer is that it operates the only winter tire testing facility on the planet.
  • Firestone: The origins behind the Firestone name aren’t remarkable, but being that the brand is one of the most recognized names in the tire world, it is worth noting. Simply put, Firestone was named after its founder, Harvey Samuel Firestone, upon its launch in 1900.
  • Hankook Tire: The Hankook Tire Group is the seventh largest manufacturer in the world, based in Seoul, South Korea. Originally founded as the “Chosun Tire Company,” it was later renamed to “Hankook.” Both “Chosun” and “Hankook” pay homage to Korea’s ancient history. The former is an ancient kingdom that spanned the course of five centuries in Korea. Hankook means “South Korea.”
  • Hoosier: The origins of Hoosier Racing Tire are simple – the company was founded in the Hoosier state of Indiana. In fact, the company, which provides tires mainly for competition use and racing, is still headquartered in Lakeville, Indiana.
  • Nexen: Another South Korean-based manufacturer, its name was derived for the company’s forward-thinking initiatives. For instance, it combines two words – “next” and “century.” Specifically, the company slogan reads “next century tire.” Hence, where “Nexen” comes from.

You likely already knew many – if not all – of the brands listed above. Now, you know where these household brand names came from. From founders to icons, locations to other definitions, every business or manufacturer has a story behind its name.

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