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       Who We Are  >   Overview  >   1915-1936  >   1937-1983
     Who We Are – 1937-1983

In the mid–1940s, the U.S. government faced a critical World War II-related tire shortage. More plants were needed and General Tire – like other companies – agreed to help. It selected a Waco, Texas, site for its second U.S. facility. Tire production began there in November 1944. What was then the industry’s most modern plant became obsolete, and tire production was phased out in 1986.

General Tire’s 1955 entry into the passenger car tire original equipment market, first as a General Motors supplier and later for other major auto producers, brought on an urgent need for expansion into more modern, efficient plants.

General Tire put its third domestic plant into production in 1960 at Mayfield, KY, and added in 1967 its fourth plant, a giant tire facility at Bryan, Ohio, as well as an automobile and truck tire facility in Charlotte, NC. The sixth plant, equipped for full radial tire production, went into operation in 1973 at Mt. Vernon, Ill. And for quality assurance, the world’s largest tire test track was put into operation at Uvalde, Texas, in 1959. In 1983, the company’s original Akron, Ohio, plant, an obsolete, multi-story operation, was phased out.


In many important ways, General Tire scientists enlarged the state of the art in the rubber industry. They solved a 40-year industry problem with the 1943 discovery of the carbon black latex-mixing masterbatch principle, and the 1949 invention of oil-extended rubber – a synthetic rubber ten-strike, which was patented in 1960. Their Gen-Tac adhesive was the answer for tire cord, and they were awarded patents for Nygen tire fabric, radial tire building machines, and a method (and machine) for improving performance characteristics of pneumatic tires. Along with its growth in the tire business, General Tire also branched into business areas beyond tires, including aerospace and defenses, entertainment and broadcasting, chemicals/plastics and industrial products.

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