Which Tires are Made in the USA?

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The industrial world is increasingly the province of multinational corporations. The call to “Buy American” has been met with muddy results over the past decade as major automakers from almost every country involved in the production of automobiles build vehicles at plants located both inside and outside of the United States.

Tires are in a similar boat. Major players in the tire industry that are headquartered outside of the United States include Michelin, Continental, Yokohama and Bridgestone, but each of these companies also manufactures tires within American borders. Many of these U.S. soil tire plants were acquired as part of brand buyouts, such as Michelin’s purchase of Uniroyal-Goodrich and Bridgestone’s acquisition of Firestone. Even Yokohama has a plant in Virginia, giving an American dimension to its primarily Japanese operations.

The question is, which tires are made in the USA?

Homegrown tire makers Goodyear and Cooper are still operating extensive factories in the United States. These two conglomerates also own a number of sub-brands that are marketed as independent, including Dunlop and Kelly Springfield.

Companies which have yet to establish tire plants in the United States include Korean manufacturers Hankook, Nexen and Kumho, Japanese builders Falken, Federal, Toyo and Sumitomo (although partnered with Goodyear) and Taiwanese tire brands such as Nankang. Other extra-U.S. tire companies include hold-outs such as Pirelli (Italy) and Nokian (Finland).

Trying to pick apart the intricate web of corporate alliances and factory locations that dominate the tire industry is a difficult and confusing task. Fortunately, there is a relatively straight-forward way to tell where the tires you are considering buying were manufactured, thanks to the intervention of the U.S. Department of Transportation. All tires sold in the U.S. are required to display an alpha-numeric code that when broken down describes the place of origin of that specific set of rubber. The code starts with DOT and is then followed by eight letters and numbers, arranged in an XX XXX XXX pattern.

DOT tire codes detail place of manufacture.

The first two letters represent the place of manufacture – for example, DOT AN XXX XXX identifies a tire built at B.F. Goodrich’s Alabama plant. A complete list of the tire codes associated with American production facilities can be found at the following link. It is also possible to look up specific tire manufacturer information on the NHTSA website.

Finding an American-made tire is no longer as simple as memorizing a list of U.S.-based manufacturers – the realities of the global economy have created a diaspora of tire production facilities around the world. If buying an American-made tire is important to you, then you will most likely have to look past brand names and use the DOT coding system to ensure that the tires you are interested in were actually built within U.S. borders.


Tirerack.com

Filed Under: Tundra Wheels and Tires

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  1. mk says:

    sorry, there is no more ‘strictly’ made in USA. Outsourcing to China is the norm now and makes me sick. 10 years ago the place I work part time in was 80% USA made food goods most made in the same hometown where I worked. Now, the past couple of years 80% is made non-food goods made in China and only 20% food goods made in USA. Times have changed and it makes me sick that the mostly crap clothing and retail products sold where I work actually sell to Americans. No one buys home-made food goods anymore simply because they look at the all mighty bottom dollar and will take a chance on the cheap Chinese made products and pray they work or will last. Ticks me off everytime someone tells me why in the world did you buy that jap crap (my USA made Tundra). I tell them same reason on why they bought that Mexican or Canadian made GM product. Same goes for my made in America (Marysville Ohio plant) Honda Valkyrie cycle when a Harley guys calls it jap crap when in fact my Honda has more American made parts built in America vs. most all Harley Davidson cycles same goes for my Tundra over the big 3.

    • Jim says:

      Anything from CHINA SUCKS

    • Foreal1 says:

      What people should ask you is why are you supporting the Japanese economy when you should buy from one of the big 3 and support the American economy. Where do you think the corporate taxes go for Toyota? Lol moron. Think before you rant about china then support the Japanese economy by purchasing a foreign vehicle.

      • Foreal1, corporate taxes go to the city of San Antonio, Bexar County, state of Texas and the US Gov’t. Just because they have a HQ in Japan, doesn’t mean anything with regards to U.S. corporate taxes.

        Your statement is probably the most uninformed buy American statement I HAVE EVER HEARD.

        -Tim

  2. Eric says:

    uh huh say it my friend…

  3. TXTee says:

    I never thought about this one. Running Nittos. Doesn’t sound too American to me but doing the job.

  4. Jason (Admin) says:

    mk – That’s a good point – the rubber itself in most tires comes from either Brazil or Indonesia. The tools used to build the tires could come from anywhere. Still, some tires are assembled in the USA (or Canada), and using the code people can find out if their tires are manufactured/assembled in their country or not.

    TXTee – Maybe, maybe not. Some “foreign” tire companies have US assembly plants.

  5. nick says:

    Nitto has a manufacturing plant in Georgia. They are also a sister brand to Toyo.

  6. TXTee says:

    Toyo was my next choice but didn’t want to pay the additional cost. Thanks for the info.

  7. Jason (Admin) says:

    nick – Thanks – had no idea. Good to know.

  8. CHARLENE says:

    THERE IS A TIRE MADE IN THE USA ITS THE BIG O BRAND TIRE AND THEY MAKE PASSANGER TIRES AT 80,000 MILE WARRENTY AS WELL AS TRUCK TIRES, HIGH WAY TREAD TO ALL TERRAIN TREAD AS WELL AS MUD TIRES AND THERE ARE OVER 12,000 DEALERS NATION WIDE
    THE BEST THING IS THAT THERE IS A 3 YEAR ROAD HAZZARD WARRENTY FOR ANY TIRE THAT SAYS BIG O ON THE SIDEWALL THE COVERS AND SIDEWALL PUNCTURES AND UNREPAIRABLE TIRE
    I LOVE THEM

    • Mike says:

      Big O tires are made by Cooper. I used to work there. I know how the company treats its employees. I will NEVER again own any of the 27+ brands made by Cooper Tire.

  9. doo doo says:

    just for reference my Pro-Comp Xtreme AT tires were made in china. However my Nitto Terra Grapplers were made in USA.

  10. jon hop says:

    Buy American made by American companies whenever possible, including trucks.

  11. Jason (Admin) says:

    jon hop – Agreed! That’s why you should drive a Tundra: http://www.tundraheadquarters......ruck-2011/

  12. uncle Sam says:

    @ jason…. Toyota is not an American company.

    • Neither is Ford, General Motors or Fiat/Chrysler. What’s your point?

      -Tim

      • Keith says:

        The point is…… that profits from Toyota or any other Foreign manufadcturer end up in some whe reelse besides Americas, the profits from a US based company end up here….duh, that is a no-brainer.

        Shame on you………

        A good point for that is …..look at Detroit The hdgs for our American
        car manufacturers then, in comparison….look at where the foreign headquarters are. See the difference that profit $$$$$ can make?

        • Keith,

          Actually profits end up in the hands of the shareholders and the worldwide management group. Just like a Ford CEO may receive a bonus in Detroit, a Ford Manager in England could earn the same. Also, shareholders are international as well.

          Think about it, Ford and GM are struggling currently due to their European sales. They are investing that “profit” into Europe not the U.S.

          They are global companies, there are no longer any national companies.

          -Tim

        • cinghoa says:

          It’s sad to hear somewhere professing that they still believe that anyone other than the CEO and their top ilk receive any of the profit, if they sell their product. The CEO’s have had over 400% increase in their salaries since the 80’s, not including inflation, where the lowly employees of these overpaid oxygen thieves have mostly seen 50-100%, including inflation. Most “American” companies have outsourced so much of their labor that the product you buy only provides the corporation with more profit to build more factories in foreign countries. Look at Crapple (apple), every one of their devices is made in a foreign nation, yet their products all cost more than any comparable item on the market, many times those crapple products are inferior to their more affordable competition. The point is, look into companies that put people to work, BMW, Toyota, VW and many other “Foreign” companies have more products built in the U.S. than you think.

          • Acey says:

            Cinghoa,

            As an avid PC user for nearly 25 years, I made the switch to Apple about 10 years ago after my wife convinced me that her funny looking purple iMac was bullet proof during undergrad and grad school days.

            Unfortunately you posted your comment a few days before Apple released this positive news about starting production of Apple products in the States: http://www.nbcnews.com/busines.....-1C7475426
            As you can see from the article many of their parts are currently made in U.S.

            In my opinion “Crapple” products are by far more superior than PC products. Why? I’ve owned my iMac for SEVEN years with ZERO problems. No blue screens of death, no “critical errors,” no viruses, and no loss in processing speed. I’ve also owned two Macbook Pro units (lap tops) over the years and both lasted about 6 years until the video cards failed (overheated) – a noted issue with Apple which was corrected in newer lap tops. One was covered by a warranty because of a defect and the other unfortunately was not. I’ve had an iPhone for two years now with ZERO problems, so your assertion that Apple products are inferior are simply untrue.

            PC-based equipment (I use multiple units at work) are overly complicated and extremely virus-prone. My father was just like you, anti-Apple since the early 80’s. About a year ago or so he borrowed my sister’s iPad on a trip and fell in love. Don’t be afraid of something I’m guessing you haven’t even tried.

  13. just a guy says:

    all of you need to take a second and see the real deal. almost nothing is made in the usa now. been that way for decades. its over. its done. things like the big 3 are done. the big 3 home town is a burned out thug infested wasteland. i challenge anyone here to list any ten items, ANY that are 100% usa made by usa company,usa parts, usa workers and owners etc. you cant do it. as far as tires, dont bother. a few major brands pretty much make all tires sold in the usa except for the funny name brands that are china japan etc made tires. all of the big old school usa tire brands have factories in china japan mexico canada etc. ALL. they also are owned partly overseas as well. including cooper. deal with it. if your 50 plus years old this is your fault. dont be pissy about it now. you were the ones voting, you were the ones buying products and you were the ones running the market. your generation made the choices that gave the usa the shaft. you screwed my generation over and left us with a country on its knees for nearly every product under the sun from china and other places. enjoy your grandkids playing with toxic toys? even food is not usa food anymore. dumb hippies.

  14. Monica Muller says:

    Speaking as a hippie, I voted for regulation, against corporate control, against NAFTA. Don’t blame hippies for today’s problems with the United States. We saw the dangers of allowing Wall Street and politicians being in bed together. No one cared and no one listened.

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