Founded on September 29, 1915, General Tire began as an outgrowth of the Western Tire & Rubber Company. William F. O’Neil (“W.O”) and his partner, Winfred E. Fouse, were two young businessmen from Akron, Ohio who knew that if they built a quality product…the sales would come.
When O’Neil and Fouse entered the tire business, there were more than 300 companies making tires. O’Neil made the decision to bypass the original equipment (OE) market and focus on a premium replacement tire.
As the years progressed the company grew quickly and so did technology, and General Tire’s team of scientists were at the forefront of the tire industry.
In addition to its growth in the tire business, General Tire branched out into businesses that included aerospace and defenses, entertainment and broadcasting, chemicals/plastics, and industrial products.
The shareholders of General Tire & Rubber Company proposed a change of names to GenCorp and the establishment of GenCorp Inc. as the parent holding company.
On March 29, 1984 this proposal went into effect and a subsequent restructuring of the company exited the tire business by divesting General Tire.
In early 1987 Continental AG of Hanover, Germany, expressed an interest in purchasing General Tire and on October 30, 1987 the sale of General Tire to Continental AG from GenCorp was finalized.
Continental, which employes approximately 169,000 employees in 46 countries, is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide and the Mt. Vernon, IL plant continues to operate building over three million General tire’s a year.
While the General Tire engineering team continues to develop state-of-the-art technologies such as Duragen, 3D Sipe, and Monitor Technology, the red letter Grabbers found under ProPickup’s Surveyor 1 Ram 2500HD continues to be the trademark of the General Tire brand.