CHARLOTTE, NC (January 27, 2005) - Continental Tire North America, Inc. (CTNA) is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its General Tire brand in 2005. The General Tire brand was born on September 29, 1915, when two Akron, Ohio businessmen, William F. O'Neil and Winfred E. Fouse, founded the General Tire and Rubber Company.
With more than 300 companies making tires at the time, O'Neil and Fouse decided to first produce a premium replacement tire, along with a line of pneumatic truck tires. During the next decades, General Tire revolutionized tire manufacturing with the invention of the low pressure General Balloon Jumbos followed by further inventions like carbon black latex, oil-extended rubber and Gen-tech adhesive for tire cord. General Tire became known as a technology leader and premium tire maker in the industry and was on the Original Equipment list of all major truck makers.
As the company diversified, General Tire became a multi-business corporation investing into industries such as tennis ball manufacturing, aero jet engineering, radio/TV, plastics and chemicals.
General Tire grew rapidly with the increasing auto industry. Along with a critical tire shortage during World War II and the company's entry into the original equipment passenger-car tire market 1955, the tire production expanded to multiple tire plants in North America.
In 1987, Continental AG -- a leading tire manufacturer based in Hannover, Germany -- purchased the tire division General Tire, Inc., later reformed as Continental Tire North America, Inc. and with this acquisition became the fourth largest tire manufacturer in the world.
In today's market the General Tire products are best known for tough, durable and high-value tires on passenger cars, pickup trucks and commercial vehicles.
"We are very proud of the General Tire brand," said Martien de Louw, president and CEO, CTNA. "The products the Continental Corporation offers today continue to meet the demanding and complex needs of our customers in both the original equipment and replacement sectors."
About Continental Tire North America, Inc.
Continental Tire North America, Inc. (www.continentaltire.com), based in Charlotte, is a group company of Germany-based Continental AG, a leading systems supplier to the automotive industry. Continental Tire North America, Inc. has almost 6,500 employees and operates 6 plants in North America. It is a major supplier to the original equipment and replacement tire markets, selling Continental, General, Euzkadi and private brands.