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Our History

Welcome to Dunlop. Where the smell of hot rubber and the crunch of asphalt beneath beefy wheels are two of life’s finest experiences. Dunlop is about driving. Driving is about Dunlop. And it’s been this way since our beginning.

Simple ideas can change the world. In 1888, while watching his son ride a tricycle, John Boyd Dunlop noticed his discomfort whenever he rode over cobbled ground.

He knew the tricycle's solid rubber tires were to blame. The solution? He wrapped the wheels in thin rubber sheets, glued them together, inflated them with a football pump for a cushioning effect - and created the first commercially viable pneumatic tire. Dunlop patented the idea, giving his fledgling Dunlop tire company a head start over automotive competitors who had already recognized the tire’s many advantages. Ten years later, Dunlop's invention had almost entirely replaced solid tires.

In 1889, Dunlop opened its first tire plant in Dublin and its first factory in Birmingham just two years later. From there, Dunlop's growth from pioneer to successful multinational corporation was swift.

We established operations in Germany, France, Canada, Australia, USA, and production facilities throughout the globe, for example, Japan's first ever tire plant at Kobe. And with the Dunlop Rubber Company, the company proved itself a pioneer in technology and business.

The legend grew by leaps and bounds. So here we are today, thriving on that heritage. Taking everything we learn on the race tracks and incorporating it into tires for the most discerning drivers.

That’s Dunlop. And that’s driving.


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