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Discussion Starter #1
Looking into Uniroyals I was amazed at the extraordinary consolidation that has taken place in fairly recent history - every country and state used to have it's own brands of tires.

These are the players

Top Tire Manufacturers in the World by Sales Volume - '06 Vs. '05



Tires now carry a two character identification code to identify the manufacturing location.

There are 543 tire manufacturing locations amongst 136 remaining manufacturers.

Examples:
CL Germany Continental
CM Germany Continental
CN France Continental
CP Germany Continental
CT Germany Continental
CU Germany Continental
E2 Brazil Firestone
E4 New Zealand Firestone
E5 S. Africa Firestone
E6 Tunisia Firestone
E7 Kenya Firestone
E8 Ghana Firestone
E9 S. Africa Firestone
F2 Venezuela Firestone
F6 Spain Firestone
F7 Spain Firestone
H8 Oklahoma Firestone
V5 Mexico Firestone
V6 Mexico Firestone
VA Ohio Firestone
VB Ohio Firestone
VC Georgia Firestone
VD Illinois Firestone
VE Indiana Firestone
VF California Firestone
VH Tennessee Firestone
VJ Pennsylvania Firestone
VK California Firestone
VL Ontario Firestone
VM Alberta Firestone
VN Quebec Firestone
VP Italy Firestone
VT Spain Firestone
VV Sweden Firestone
VX England Firestone
VY England Firestone
W1 Tennessee Firestone
W2 N. Carolina Firestone
W5 Argentina Firestone
W7 Portugal Firestone
W9 Brazil Firestone
WA France Firestone
WC Austria Firestone
WD Switzerland Firestone
WF Spain Firestone
WH Sweden Firestone
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Curious now I've been around the Cali wheels.

Discovered that the tyres were made in March (06) in Portugal sent to IL for assembly in May (06) and exported across the Atlantic again for distribution, dealer prep and inspection, sale and registration for service in July (06).

Confusingly there are 4 pairs of DoT codes - AFKT AXXF

AF Portugal General
KT Italy Lee
AX Germany Phoenix
XF Spain Pirelli

General Tire is part of Continental AG and Portugal is moulded into the sidewall as the Country of Origin so I can follow that.

But what are the other 6 letters? I was only expecting the ID pair.

DOT code: Department of Transportation code (DOT) specifies the company, factory, mold, batch, and date of production (2 digits for week of the year plus 2 digits for year; or 2 digits for week of the year plus 1 digit for year for tires made prior to 2000).

So maybe KT is a specific plant for Company and Country. Now that the large companies have bought so many local makers that could make sense.
That would leave AX XF as random mold and batch references.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Top Dozen Tire Companies

Chicken and egg question. Are these companies the biggest because you choose their tires OR do you choose their tires because their size gives you confidence?

On my motorbike I chose Avon as my preference but they have now been bought by Cooper.

Here is my grouping of the brands I believe these groups control.

Rank Volume Sales Mkt Manufacturer HQ Founded Yr named Previously Manufacturing Acquired Brands
1 21.8 17.1% Michelin Manufacture Française des Pneumatiques Clermont-Ferrand 1888 1988 BF Goodrich, 1986 Uniroyal BFGoodrich Kleber Llantas Michelin PGP Uniroyal (US)
2 21.5 16.9% Bridgestone Corporation Fukuoka 1931 141 in 24 1988 Firestone Bandag Bridgestone Dayton Denman Firestone
3 18.9 Goodyear Tire and Rubber 1898 Dunlop Goodyear Kelly Pneumant Sava
4 7.5 Continental AG Hannover 1871 Continental Conti Euzkadi General Gislaved Semperit Mabor Uniroyal
5 5.7 Pirelli & C. SpA Milan 1872 Pirelli
6 3.5 Sumitomo Rubber Kobe 1909 Sumitomo Ohtsu Dunlop (Japan) Falken
7 3 Yokohama Rubber Tokyo 1917 Yokohama
8 50 m 3 Hankook Tire Manufacturing Seoul 1941 1968 Chosun K, Ch, Hu Hankook
9 2.4 Cooper Tire and Rubber Findlay OH 1926 1997 Avon Avon Cooper Dean MasterCraft
10 1.8 Kumho Tire Co Seoul 1960 Samyang Marshal Kumho
11 1.7 Toyo Tire & Rubber Company Tokyo 1945 Toyo Nitto
12 Cheng-Shin Rubber Company Yuanlin 1967 Maxxis Cheng-Shin

Do you have another local or independent brand you would consider ?
 
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