Info from a engineering intern at Goodyear
by Mitchell the Industrial Engineer
I interned at Goodyear in Gadsden, AL a few years ago and would like to contribute a piece to the puzzle.
I know for a fact that most plants don't exclusively manufacture one brand or the other with Goodyear and subsidiaries. I know the plant I worked at did Goodyear, Dunlop, and Kelly. It was just how much and what kind of material was used in the construction.
Goodyear had only one Kelly tire plant when I left and that was in the northeast.
Things may have changed but it was known that Dunlops were a hair lower in quality than Goodyear but significantly cheaper, so it was a no-brainer to go for Dunlop if you had the option.
Kelly's were not that great and obviously on the low end but okay tires.
Unfortunately, I never heard the rumor Goodyear made Douglas private label tires for Walmart or else I would have inquired. I also never witnessed Douglas tires being made over in the molding/curing area. It strikes me, that Douglas quality would seem somewhere around Kelly tires, or a little less. Maybe the scenario is the Kelly plant in Connecticut handles only their label and Douglas, but this is only speculation.
Before I worked at Goodyear, I'd honestly tried to avoid Kelly's if I could help it because of the cheaper quality and road noise.
As for Douglas tires, I remember seeing my dad have one set blow out and another didn't last the tread wear it claimed it would when I started working on cars. My in-laws
slap Douglas on their spare beater car and it seems to last well here in the southern climate like it warranties and not highly prone to dry rot with limited use on the car. It would seem Douglas tire quality has gone up over the years since I remember growing up. I've seen my in-laws go through two sets so far and lasting what it claimed.
I wish I knew who made this private label but hopefully, this brings a piece to the puzzle or at least reinforce what others with knowledge are saying.
Thank you for offering your views.
Some of what you've written has raised some more questions than before you started and we don't have any facts which we didn't have before. We don't even know what period of history you were talking about since you didn't say when you were working for Goodyear.
Who makes Douglas tire and where is not a thing that we need to speculate about. For many years now, all tires sold in the USA carry a DOT code molded into their sidewalls.
Part of that code specifies the plant and location where those tires were manufactured. In every instance I've ever seen, they were always in a Goodyear plant.
It may not be correct in considering Douglas to be a private label. The name Douglas is registered as belonging to Goodyear, however, it would seem that Walmart is the exclusive retail outlet for this brand. Both Goodyear and Walmart are very tight-lipped about the details of their relationship.