Choosing tires that provide the best safety and value for your driving conditions is a big decision. In choosing wisely, you should take into account your average annual kilometres driven, and how often you drive in rough conditions: rain, snow, dirt or gravel roads, busy highways, and crowded city streets.
The information available to you here should help you better understand some of the key points to consider when choosing tires. Speak to your Service Advisor regarding the tires that are best for you.
For your convenience Toyota offers 14 of Canada's top brands. Just click on a brand logo for more details.
By the time the Michelin brothers started manufacturing tires in 1891 at their plant in Clermont-Ferrand, France, the firm had already been in existence for more than 60 years, producing everything from rubber balls to valves and tubing. But Michelin hit the road running with a patent for detachable tires reparable in 15 minutes - and the rest is history, including a blazing victory for Michelin tires in the first Paris-Brest bicycle race. Since then, it has been one innovation after another, from the first automobile fitted with pneumatic tires and the invention of "Twin" tires for trucks to a detachable steel wheel, a precursor of the spare wheel.
Tires, however, are just the tip of the iceberg for the company with the famous Michelin Man as a mascot/brand, recently selected the world's best logo. In 1900, the first Michelin Red Guide came into existence and a Travel Information Bureau opened in Paris in 1908 to help travellers with their itineraries. There followed road maps, the launching of air races, and the numbering of roads for easier travel, as well as guides for the major cities in the world.
During the First World War, Michelin built planes for the French government and helped create the first concrete runway in the world to help planes take off even in the rain. Today, Michelin is supplying tires for the US Shuttle, the Concorde and Airbus.
All the while, Michelin has never forgotten its commitment to continuous innovation. From the first low-pressure tire and the "Stop" tire with anti-skid strips to the radial and asymmetric, Michelin has kept its technological edge by its dedication to constant research. This includes the development and production of environmentally-friendly tires such as the Michelin Energy for better fuel economy, the Energy Saver, and the Active Wheel for electric vehicles.
Combined with business acumen and a belief in its workforce, the company has established a presence throughout the world: from Europe, Africa and Asia to North and South America, with plants in 17 locations and a workforce of 22,300 in North America alone. Little wonder that Michelin ranks #1 in the world tire market share, manufacturing and supplying tires for planes, cars, farm equipment, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles.
"Michelin, a better way forward"
Since its founding in 1931, Bridgestone has prided itself on both quantity and quality. Today, boasting one out of every five tires sold worldwide, the Bridgestone Group is the largest tire and rubber company in the world. This is the result of unswerving attention to detail: from the unsurpassed quality of the materials (many of which are made in Woodstock, Ontario) to the tire manufacturing process itself (a plant in Joliette, Quebec, produces 15,000 tires per day).
At the same time, as a premium, technology-driven consumer tire brand, Bridgestone is the choice for many of the world's most prestigious vehicles, providing original equipment for the likes of Ferrari, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, GM and a host of other auto manufacturers from around the world. As well, Bridgestone supplies tires for the Formula 1 racing series, and the CART series. Its tires have crossed the finish line with Ferrari, BAR, Jordan, Arrows and Sauber - and from 1998-2003 Bridgestone equipped six consecutive driver and constructor F1 champions.
Bridgestone continues its research and development in order to introduce new products and new versions of popular current offerings, focusing on the strength of technology in its tire development. In fact, Bridgestone files more US patents annually than any other tire manufacturer, and constantly looks for ways to bring the lessons learned on the racetrack to the streets. Testing is an ongoing process on numerous tracks and on more than 50 types of surfaces, leading to more reliable, better performing and safer tires.
Bridgestone also prides itself on the work it does within the community. As a good corporate citizen, it supports organizations ranging from children's charities to safe driving programs. Bridgestone is also committed to finding new ways to more safely handle scrap tires, through the process of recovering, reusing and recycling. All part of a commitment to give back to those who have been loyal to Bridgestone products down through the years.
For drivers who want to get the most out of their cars, it's Bridgestone or nothing
A legendary brand that traces its roots to Harvey Firestone in 1900, Firestone boasts a storied and colourful history. From the very start, the company believed that the way forward was through innovation and the constant improving of quality. This paid off almost immediately when, in 1906, Firestone tires were selected by Henry Ford for the first mass-produced cars in the US. Firestone tires also helped propel the first Indy 500 winner in 1911, a feat the tires would go on to repeat more than 50 times, including Arie Luyendyk's victory in 1997.
Following its incorporation in Canada in 1919, the first Canadian-made tire rolled off the Hamilton, Ontario, assembly line in 1922. Firestone offered the first radial tires in 1964, and the Joliette, Quebec, tire plant opened for business in 1966. In 1968, Firestone won the prestigious Deming prize for its initiatives to improve quality and raise productivity. Firestone was also the first to develop the idea of the "temporary spare" tire. In 1990, Firestone consolidated business with Bridgestone and the Canadian operations moved their corporate head office to Mississauga, Ontario.
While Firestone is justifiably proud of its illustrious past and tradition of quality and excellence, it is also committed to the future with state-of-the-art research and development, both through continuous improvements in raw materials and manufacturing, and in the gruelling testing that its tires must undergo. The goal is to provide the most innovative and durable products possible, both to improve the performance of the tires and to ensure the continued safety and satisfaction of those using them.
Firestone's forward-looking reputation and traditional insistence on exceptional product and customer service has made it a world-renowned brand. Little wonder that Firestone's tires are used as original equipment on a wide range of models produced by some of the world's leading auto manufacturers.
Firestone: A Tradition of Innovation.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has come a long way from those first perilous days in late 1898 on the banks of the Little Cuyahoga River in East Akron, Ohio, when it had 13 employees, a payroll of $217.86 and sales of $8,246. But, while the firm today has annual sales of nearly $20 billion, it still maintains the same principles, integrity and foresight of its dynamic and visionary founder, Frank A. Seiberling. It was Seiberling who insisted on naming the company after the legendary Charles Goodyear, the man who discovered vulcanization. Seiberling also came up with the distinctive winged-foot trademark.
With a foot firmly in the traditional values of the past, Goodyear has never stopped moving forward. From its 1903 patent for the tubeless automobile tire to the original American-made synthetic rubber tire in 1937 and 1947 nylon tire, from Auqatred wet traction and original-equipment run-flat tires in 1992 to the GT3 BioTRED tire in 2001 featuring bio-friendly starch-based filler, Goodyear has put together an enviable list of technological firsts.
Along the way, it has also managed to showcase its tires in numerous racing events, including a victory for a Henry Ford car in 1901 and being able to boast tires on the winning car of every major race in 1919. There followed a Formula One World title in 1965, an Indy 500 in 1967, and the setting of a new land speed record in 1970. Goodyear then took over the supply of tires for all cars in the four top global race series.
Today, Goodyear's aerial ambassadors, the Spirit of Goodyear, America and Innovation blimps, are flying as high as ever, travelling more than 150,000 km a year for events from one end of the US to the other. They are symbols of the combination of tradition and technological innovation that has made Goodyear a world-class company for more than a century, and that will continue to make it a leader in the industry for many decades to come.
"Goodyear: Get There."
Founded in Hanover, Germany, in 1871, Continental can look back on a history of success, especially in the bringing of individual mobility to the road. As well, in the more than 135 years of its existence, the firm has been instrumental in initiating, advancing and collaborating on a host of technological developments. Today the number two automotive supplier in Europe, Continental ranks among the top five worldwide. Continental prides itself on being the driving force behind numerous future mobility concepts: as a specialist for key technologies and as an innovative powerhouse in the automotive and other industries. Continental, with its six divisions, is out to reinvent the future: Chassis & Safety, Powertrain, Interior, Passenger and Light Truck Tires, Commercial Vehicle Tires and ContiTech.
Outstanding braking performance: Continental passenger tires are known for excellent force transmission, optimum tracking stability and superb vehicle road-contact in all types of weather. The firm's tire development engineers also work with the Chassis & Safety division. The Passenger and Light Truck Tires team regards it as self-evident that climate protection also be taken into consideration. Continental's market leadership in Europe is based on high customer satisfaction, both in original equipment and the replacement business.
More individuality and wider margin of safety: Continental's multi brand strategy enables it to discover all market segments, regional requirements and customer wishes. Even if the conditions and requirements may vary, one thing always holds true: Safety is consistently assigned top priority. The safety demands placed on a tire are enormous, especially when one metre of braking distance can make the crucial difference in critical situations.
Lower consumption: Over the past five years, Continental has managed to reduce the rolling resistance of its passenger tires by about 10% so that they now exhibit a minimal rolling resistance that contributes to greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. At the same time the tire's safety-relevant properties have been improved.
From its humble beginnings in 1893, the creation of two brothers in the small town of Gislaved, Sweden, the Gislaved tire brand quickly earned a name for itself as the first manufacturer of Swedish car tires. In fact, the first Volvos coming off the line in 1927 had Gislaved tires as original equipment and they have been thus equipped ever since. In 1967, Gislaved was among the original manufacturers of steel belted radial tires. This, in turn, led to the opening of the world's most modern plant for the production of steel belted radials.
Given Sweden's climate, it comes as no surprise that Gislaved has a reputation as the producer of some of the world's top of the line winter tires. Gislaved's focus has been on safety, quality and driving comfort with tires such as the NordFrost line, with the latest being the NordFrost 5, featuring an advanced tread pattern and innovative tread compound. That reputation can only be enhanced now that the brand is part of Continental AG, the second-largest tire group in Europe. Gislaved now has access to even more resources for developing, testing and producing tires for every size and style of car.
Gislaved continues the tradition of reliability and quality it shares with other Swedish companies. In the century-plus it has been in existence, Gislaved has created an image and identity that goes beyond Sweden's borders and is now easily recognized by consumers around the world. Gislaved stands for stability and innovative technological developments. Its tires serve as benchmarks for assured driving in northern climates, giving drivers a safe ride in conditions that can quickly turn harsh.
Snow. Ice. Wet. Dry. Gislaved tires are guaranteed to grip the road. And that is most re-assuring in Canada's harsh winters.
"Gislaved: The Swedish Winter Tire Experts"
BFGoodrich prides itself on a history of firsts: the first North American rubber company; first car tire manufacturer in North America; first rubber research lab in the US; first to win the Indy 500 two years in a row; first to produce tubeless tires for US cars; first run-flat tire; first radial-ply tires in North America; first tire with coloured thread. And Charles Lindbergh's historic first solo flight from the US to Europe was done on BFGoodrich Silvertown tires.
Throughout its history, the brand has combined a pioneering spirit with a vision that calls for a constant expanding of the performance envelope. Like the tough and down-to-earth spirit of America itself and of Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich himself, BFGoodrich takes every new challenge as a way to better itself and improve its products. As each challenge is successfully met, it leads to the setting of higher and higher standards in tire technology: from the tires that helped the first car to cross the US in 1903 to the launch of the g-Grip in 2009.
Like everything else it does, BFGoodrich takes its rally competitions very seriously. Entire teams of experts from chemists, developers, and technicians come together to work for victory. They bring with them some 1500 tires to each rally in a convoy of five semi-trailers! While the immediate object is to win, they are also there to put the tires through some extreme testing under the most demanding conditions and surfaces possible so that they can one day benefit the ordinary customer on our roads.
It's all part of the BFGoodrich spirit, helping to make the firm a world player in tire manufacture and sales, with offices, plants and dealers throughout the world. Be they high performance, off-road, passenger, SUV or light truck tires, they are the result of unceasing innovation and technology.
"BFGoodrich: Take Control"
More than 100 years ago and as early as 1901, the Pirelli Tire company was already providing "original equipment" tires for some of the earliest cars on the road. Since then, it has maintained its reputation for technological excellence and innovative production initiatives to produce a wide and highly popular range of tires - from radial to the modern ultra-low profile beauties that offer exceptional performance and safety all wrapped in a style and elegance that is an Italian trademark.
During that time, Pirelli has expanded its operations to the point where it now has a world-wide presence. Its products are distributed - and often manufactured - in just about every continent: from Europe to South America, North America to China. At present, Pirelli has 23 factories in 12 countries. This has made Pirelli the fifth largest tire manufacturing firm in the world - and growing. Pirelli is proud of the factors that have allowed it to achieve this growth: an industrial heritage deeply rooted in strong technology and research, and the maximum utilization of its human resources.
While centralized in Milan, Italy, local R&D centres can be found throughout Europe and the United States. Rather than fearing new technologies, Pirelli embraces them, all the while ensuring that its environmental impact is minimized. Pirelli tires are made to further improve ultra-high performance products for maximum stability, improved grip and road holding regardless of the speed. And Pirelli's Self-Supporting Run Flat tire, which can be used even in the event of a flat, is one of the few on the market that has succeeded.
Connected to Pirelli's overall concept of manufacturing and production in the 21st century, the firm is committed to a sustainable approach to business. This means taking into account not only the economic aspects of performance but also its effect in social and environmental factors. It's no surprise that Pirelli tires, be they for industrial, commercial or personal use, are seen as state-of-the-art and synonymous with quality and high-end performance.
The General tire brand was born on Sept. 29, 1915, when two Akron, Ohio businessmen, William F. O'Neil and Winfred E. Fouse, founded the General Tire and Rubber Co. With more than 300 companies making tires at the time, O'Neil and Fouse decided to first produce a premium replacement tire, along with a line of pneumatic truck tires.
During the next decades, General Tire revolutionized tire manufacturing with the invention of the low-pressure General Balloon Jumbos followed by further inventions like carbon black latex, oil-extended rubber and Gen-tech adhesive for tire cord. General Tire became known as a technology leader and premium tire maker in the industry, and was on the original equipment list of all major truck makers.
As the company diversified, General Tire became a multi-business corporation investing in industries such as tennis ball manufacturing, aero jet engineering, radio/TV, plastics and chemicals.
In 1987, Continental AG, a tire manufacturer based in Hanover, Germany, purchased the tire division of General Tire Inc., which later reformed as Continental Tire North America Inc.
Today, General Tire offers a complete line of high performance passenger, light truck and commercial tires to meet consumer needs. General Tire delivers award winning products at competitive pricing and provides a comprehensive warranty and road side assistance package.
From its days in 1892 as the U.S. Rubber Company in Naugatuck, CT, to the present, Uniroyal has been providing reliable, dependable and safe tires to North Americans from all walks of life. Fronted by its world-renowned Uniroyal Tiger mascot since 1964, the company takes tradition, perseverance and pride to new levels amid a culture of technological innovation in the art of tire-making. And anyone driving on I-94 near the Allen Park, Michigan Uniroyal sales office can't help but spot the 8-storey high Giant Tire, a symbol of the firm's heritage, and a reminder of its continuous efforts to improve its products.
Today, that includes high-quality, reliable and long-lasting tires such as the Laredo Cross Country, for the adventurous SUV and pick-up, and the Tiger Paw Touring, for the type of handling, safety and performance demanded by sedan and min-van drivers. As well, Uniroyal offers the Laredo HD/H and HD/T commercial vehicle tires for when you need to get the job done in the most inhospitable operating environments.
It also includes a commitment to the community. The Uniroyal Soccer Program has donated almost $12 million in funds and equipment since 2000 to leagues in both Canada and the US. To date, more than 3000 different youth soccer leagues have received more than 875,000 soccer balls as well as other equipment from the program, while Uniroyal dealers donate $2 from every tire sale made during the program.
Whether producing the first sneakers as the U.S. Rubber Company in 1916 or advanced tires in the 21st century, Uniroyal continues to stand by the qualities that earned it the right to be one of the 12 original firms in the Dow Jones Industrial Average - and the choice of tires for millions of North Americans: dependability, trust and the imagination to create innovative products.
"Uniroyal: For Everything You Value"
Toyo Tire Canada Inc. (TCI) was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia. A wholly-owned subsidiary of TOYO TIRE & RUBBER CO., LTD., the company's focus is directed toward comprehensive sales, marketing, communications and customer service for the Toyo Tires® brand in Canada. TCI serves independent tire dealers in approximately 700 retail locations nationwide and celebrates more than 40-years of business in Canada.
The Toyo Tires brand was born in 1945 with the formation of publicly traded TOYO TIRE & RUBBER CO., LTD. in Osaka, Japan. Today, Toyo® is a global corporation exceeding $2.5-billion in annual sales and has grown to include automotive parts and chemical/industrial products. Producing tires for more than 60-years, Toyo is currently ranked as the 11th largest tire manufacturer in the world with seven manufacturing plants globally and a worldwide distribution network that includes the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania.
Voted the #1 Overall Brand* in both the consumer and commercial tire segments by independent tire dealers in North America, Toyo Tires is recognized for product quality and innovation. With a focus on premium tires, Toyo manufactures and distributes a complete line of replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks, buses and off-road and construction applications.
Popular "families" of consumer tires offered by Toyo include Proxes® (for high performance passenger cars, light trucks and race cars), Open Country® (for light trucks and SUVs), VersadoTM, TourevoTM (for luxury passenger cars) and Observe® (winter tires for passenger and light trucks).
The Toyo Tires brand is supported in North America through integrated national marketing campaigns, which include television, print and online advertising. In addition, the company sponsors motor sports organizations such as SPEED World Challenge®, Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship (CCTCC), Sports Car Club of America (SCCA®) and Canadian Automobile Sport Car - Ontario Region (CASC-OR). For more information, please visit www.toyotires.ca.
"Toyo Tires: Driven to Perform"
For more than 100 years, Kelly Tires has been in the forefront of innovation when it comes to making and selling tires. Founded as The Rubber Tire Wheel Company in 1894 by Edwin Kelly and Arthur Grant and subsequently renamed the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company, the firm's first products included a patented solid rubber tire for carriages. Growth was rapid and, by 1921, an automotive tire production plant designed to employ more than 3000 came on line in Cumberland, Maryland.
The company was later acquired by Goodyear which has continued to put out the Kelly brand of tires, boasting "a good deal on a great tire": high quality, long life, a reasonable price and a solid warranty. As one of the oldest continuously operating tire companies in the United States, Kelly Tires manufactures over 50 brands of tires for both passenger vehicles and farm equipment. In fact, it is considered one of the top producers of farm equipment tires in the world. Its plant in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has been ranked as the world's largest tire manufacturing facility.
From the beginning, the Kelly tire brand has not been afraid to promote itself. Not only did the tire appear in major magazines but the firm sponsored Broadway shows from 1915-30 and advertised during the intermissions. As well, the company was quick to enlist the help of famous people who bought its tires. Kelly even had electric sign advertising in Times Square and other cities around the world.
While cherishing its long and varied past, Kelly Tire has its sights set firmly on the future, especially when it comes to environmental concerns. It has become a leader in the conversion of used tires into reusable energy and in the installation of effluent emission controls, thus reducing emissions in its factories by 50%. It is also working on the tires of the future: more energy-efficient tires that help reduce gas use while maintaining their grip on road safety.
"Kelly Tires: A Good Deal On A Great Tire"
For over 90 years, Yokohama has been a world leader in the development of exceptional tire designs and technology, giving drivers better performance and control on the road.
The first Japanese tire manufacturer to be granted ISO9001 certification in recognition of a quality-assurance model company in design, development, manufacture installation, and related services, Yokohama has devoted itself to advancing the leading edge in the industry.
Yokohama also takes its responsibilities to the environment very seriously. Among the many ongoing initiatives, it has eliminated the use of CFCs and trichloroethane in the manufacturing process, and has switched from heavy oil to natural gas to reduce CO2 emissions and save energy.
Driven by the needs of people, Yokohama continues to respond with environmentally compatible solutions engineered to outperform, whatever the performance need.
As one of the world's leading manufacturers of rubber products, offering an extensive range of tire, rubber and adhesive products, Yokohama Rubber has expanded its worldwide business scope with a line-up of high-technology products meeting customer needs in the fields of automobiles, civil engineering, construction, marine engineering, aerospace and sporting goods.
Today, Yokohama is reinforcing its global structure through state-of-the-art production centres in Japan, other Asian countries and North America, and through a sales network covering these areas and Europe.
Always with an eye to the future, Yokohama has reached, under the ADVAN banner, the pinnacle of design and engineering. Starting with highly sophisticated computer simulation modelling, to the most advanced compounding and construction, ADVAN symbolizes the best of everything Yokohama's engineers ever learned about engineering high performance tires. From ultra-high performance for today's supercars, to the new breed of performance SUV's, sport sedans and coupes looking for performance and all-season reliability, to competition tires for track use, ADVAN takes ultra-high performance to a new level.
To achieve further glory, ADVAN will continue to challenge not only the competition but more importantly itself.
A small boy, a tricycle and solid rubber wheels. That was the stimulus for John Boyd Dunlop, an Irish veterinarian grown tired of seeing his young son struggle, to develop and patent his design for the modern-day tire.
A lot has taken place since 1888, with that tricycle tire wrapped in linen tape and pumped up with a soccer ball air pump evolving into a state-of-the-art radial capable of holding up a 200 mph racing car. But the basic concept is still the same: a blend of sound manufacturing practices and leading-edge technology to create the finest tires on the road.
Incorporated with one million dollars worth of stock in 1899, the Dunlop Tire Company went on to become one of the largest manufacturers of tires in the world. By 1954, as reported in an Ocala Star-Banner ad, the firm could boast that its tires were the safest in the world and that its experience in the world of racing was being reflected in the everyday Dunlop tires on family cars: greater tire strength, longer life, quick stops on wet or dry pavement and better control on curves, "and all around safer, more economical driving".
Today, the Dunlop brand still maintains its signature place in the automobile and motorcycle tire industry, producing such popular tires as the Rover M/T Maxx Traction with asymmetric integrated tread pattern and the Signature CS for crossover utility vehicles with state of the art technologies such as VersaLoad, Jointless Band, and Multi-Pitch Tread Design. Another popular tire is the all season SP60 A/S with Traction Web Technology, and the SP Sport A2+ with wide water-siphoning grooves for wet handling.
When you add Dunlop's sports car racing heritage, it comes as no surprise that these are the tires of choice for both performance car enthusiasts and consumers who want to experience such performance on their own cars. Now a part of the Goodyear group of tire companies, Dunlop can look forward to the manufacture of even more cutting-edge tires in the years to come.
"That's Dunlop. And That's Driving."