The Dunlop name is associated with a huge variety of products: golf balls, sports shoes, and even aircraft brake systems are all manufactured by the company. However the company is probably most well-known for its tyre division, which is appropriate considering the fact that the man behind the company invented the pneumatic tyre in the first place.
History of Dunlop company
In October 1887, John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre for use on his son’s tricycle. After a period of research and development, a patent was granted in December 1888. The tyres were then used in 1889 by Willie Hume to win a number of bicycle races in Ireland and England, losing only one of the eight events he raced in.
The Pneumatic Tyre and Booth’s Cycle Agency Co. Ltd was created soon after, and began bicycle tyre production in late 1890. The company then expanded to countries including France, Germany, and the USA.
After a number of changes of ownership in 1896, the company was rebranded as the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company, and purchased their rubber supplier, Byrnes Bros India Rubber. This company was then renamed as Dunlop Rubber.
In 1900 Dunlop manufactured its first motor car tyre, followed by a car wheel manufacturing plant in 1906. 1910 saw Dunlop develop its first aeroplane tyre and golf ball. By 1918 Dunlop was the fourteenth largest manufacturing company in Britain, and its only large scale tyre manufacturer.
In 1948 Dunlop invented the self-sealing tyre, followed by Maxaret, the first anti-lock braking system in the early 1950s. Several decades later, the company was acquired by BTR plc, and the rights to manufacture Dunlop tyres were acquired by Sumitomo. However since 1999 Sumitomo has only manufactured Dunlop-branded tyres in Japan, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has manufactured Dunlop-branded tyres for the European, Australia, and North American markets.
Dunlop product diversity
A number of different, but related companies use the Dunlop name to manufacture a huge variety of products. Arguably the most notable of these products is Dunlop tyres, however a case could also be made for Dunlop’s sporting products.
Dunlop is a major player (no pun intended) in the tennis industry, being a notable manufacturer of both racquets and balls. It also manufactures a number of golf-related products, including balls, clubs, and golf shoes.
And who could forget Volleys? The iconic shoe has been in production by 1939, and has barely changed since then. Dunlop may be known primarily as a tyre company, but it’s impressive to consider the sheer breadth of Dunlop as a collective.
How did Dunlop perform in the Canstar Blue ratings?
Dunlop performed reasonably well in Cantsr Blue’s 2015 Customer Satisfaction survey, scoring a solid four stars in almost every category, including overall satisfaction, value for money, warranty, handling and noise. You can check out our 2015 Car Tyre Customer Satisfaction survey here.
Tyre brands we rated
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who bought new car tyres (not retreads) in the last 18 months – in this case, 950 drivers.
The tyre brands in this year’s survey are:
- Bob Jane
You can view the tyre survey results here.