Sumitomo Tire’s early history is closely tied to the invention of the pneumatic tire by J. B. Dunlop, who established a branch of his tire company in Japan in 1909. Originally producing bicycle tires for rickshaws (the runner-pulled carts that were Japan’s main form of transportation at the time), the business grew to produce Japan’s first automotive tire in 1913.
As the company’s tire line continued to progress, adding rubber tire products such as motorcycle tires in 1935 and Japan’s first radial tire in the 1960s, Sumitomo acquired complete control of its parent company and renamed it Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. By the mid-1980s, Sumitomo Tire had acquired the Dunlop tire brand worldwide.
In the 1990s, Sumitomo formed a manufacturing partnership with Goodyear Tire, allowing access to each other’s factories so they could expand their respective markets. Today, the company makes many rubber-based products besides tires, including golf and tennis balls.
Recent innovations from Sumitomo include technological advancements to reduce the use of oil products in their tires, which have resulted in the ENASAVE 97 tire—a 97% fossil-fuel free tire.
Although Sumitomo Tire’s primary focus is on automobile tires, they’ve expanded into the specialty tire market and have begun designing and manufacturing high-quality tires for golf carts and other vehicles. The Sumitomo 175/50R13 Golf Cart Tire has become extremely popular for some Golf Cart manufacturers, as it provides great performance with advanced wear resistance. Sumitomo Tires are a newer brand in our specialty tire lineup, but they’re highly praised for their top-quality and real world performance.