Goodyear is celebrating 100 years as an industry leader in tyre technology, innovation and safety on Australia’s roads.
From the humble beginnings of a small office at 231 Clarence Street, Sydney in 1915, it wasn’t long before Goodyear established a presence nation-wide, with distribution arrangements through local motor suppliers in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane to meet customer demand.
Within 10 years, Goodyear tyres were so enthusiastically accepted by the Australian public, that in July 1925, Mr. W.G Kither, former manager of the Goodyear Adelaide branch, floated the idea of opening a local manufacturing plant. Two years later, in 1927, Goodyear produced its first Australian-made tyre from a manufacturing plant in Granville, Sydney.
Testament to its innovation, quality and customer-focused products, Goodyear grew its operations considerably by 1930, with additional depots being established in Newcastle, Goulburn, Tamworth and Lismore in New South Wales, while other states were served by depots at Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong in Victoria; and Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns in Queensland.
Demand continued, as did supply, and by 1932 Goodyear had manufactured one million tyres in Australia. By 1951 Goodyear had increased this volume to 10 million tyres.
During World War II, Goodyear’s Australian operations contributed to servicing the tyre needs of aircraft, service trucks, jeeps, motorcycles and service equipment. Additionally, the manufacture of bullet-seal fuel tanks and aircraft tyres – both vital items for war – were pioneered in Australia by Goodyear.
At the turn of the century, the company launched the iconic Goodyear blimp into Australian skies in support of the 2000 Olympic Games. The blimp provided aerial network television coverage for various events throughout the country.
Today, Goodyear remains an industry leader in tyre innovation, which it transfers across the globe to markets in which it operates.
Some of the innovations brought to Australia in recent years have included the launch of the revolutionary RunOnFlat Technology in 2005, allowing motorists to continue driving even after a puncture; the introduction of Fuel Saving Technology in the Assurance Fuel Max tyre in 2010, designed to save customers money at the pump; and the use of Goodyear’s QuietTred Technology, which contributes to the EfficientGrip Performance tyre being Goodyear’s quietest ever luxury tyre.
While innovation is inherent and pivotal to Goodyear’s local success, the brand’s nationwide family of company-owned, franchised and independent tyre dealers who have stocked and distributed products over the century has been fundamental too. From its first retail branch in Melbourne (1915), there are now hundreds of dealers flying the Goodyear flag across Australia.
Commenting on the company’s evolution and commitment to the Australian market, Goodyear’s managing director in Australia, Thierry Villard, said: “A centenary is a remarkable achievement and testament to the strength of our business, team and customers.
“As industries and companies have come and gone over the decades, Goodyear Australia has achieved and sustained a reputation as an industry leader through continued innovation, adaptation to changing markets, as well as a continued commitment to understanding and delivering on what our customers value and need.
“Innovation and safety have been, and will always remain, at the core of the Goodyear brand. We take great pride in continuing to be one of the country’s — and the world’s — top tyre companies, leading the way with our technology.
“I thank the thousands of dealers and distributors, the hundreds of thousands of users of our products and of course each and every one of our Australian team for their support over the last century. I look forward to the continuation of Goodyear in Australia for the next 100 years, with the best yet to come!”