The Impromptu Beginnings of Sumitomo Tyres



This iconic Japanese brand of tyres became an entity way back in 1909, providing wheels and tyres to its own burgeoning transport industry, while based in Yokohama. Originally, they began with offers of bicycle tyres, but their advancement is a lesson in adaptive business behaviour: they have altered their product offerings through the years, in a steady drive to a current position as a market leader.

This adaptation by Sumitomo Tyre and Rubber Industries has led it through two World Wars, one Great Depression, post-war difficulties, and the stock crash of the early 90s. As they evolved, they moved from bicycle tyres to motorcycle tires to cars, providing rubber for aerospace, expanding their offerings in to such areas as soccer and tennis balls, and more.

The key to this success has been the typical Japanese focus on quality control. Having struck a deal with the British tyre firm Dunlop in 1909, the fledgling firm used this relationship to bring the necessary expertise and manufacturing acumen to their own work. To compete, however, they needed to create a comparable tyre domestically, and on a short time frame. Methods of production were tight and expertly set up, governed by some of the toughest standards in the industry. It paid big dividends.

The end result from Sumitomo Tyres is rubber that is worn by some of Japan’s most legendary cars, from the NSX, to the new Nissan GTR. They provide a wide range of wheels and tyres to suit anything that this island nation can throw at its road-going vehicles.

For more information on this unique company and its tyres, pop your head in to Canterbury Tyres for a chat today!


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