General Tires Review and Buyer’s Guide

General Tires Review and Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve been shopping around for tires, General tires have probably shown up in your search results, so let’s talk about it. General Tire is a brand that’s been around for a long time, almost since the dawn of modern automobiles, and they’ve become a brand that people can get behind. Unlike a lot of other companies, General Tire stays true to its slogan: “Proving anywhere is possible,” by continually producing tires that exceed expectations.

As a manufacturer, General Tire excels in the mid-tier tire markets and produces high-quality tires for almost any vehicle. Regardless of the terrain, General tires can get the job done. From passenger cars to off-road trucks, General Tire focuses on providing durability, safety, innovation, and longevity. Through years of research and development, they’ve been able to create well-rounded tires.

With a rich history and success in many different fields like rocket science, General Tire has become a brand that many people like, trust, and respect. If you’re curious about whether or not General Tire could be the brand for you, read on to find out.

The History of General Tire Company

First and foremost, one aspect of General Tire that stands out is their heritage. When we look at the history of a tire and see how success and recognition developed along the way, it provides a complete picture of the tire brand you’re shopping for. So, here is a look at how General Tire came to be.

General Tire has a complicated history. Founded in 1915, by William F. O’Neil, the tire producer began its journey as The General Tire and Rubber Company. O’Neil was an entrepreneur that made his way into the tire business through ownership of a Firestone franchise, which had been incorporated a few years prior.

For many years, O’Neil became familiar with how the tire industry worked, and for a while, he had success with his franchise. While O’Neal enjoyed his small-tire repair outlet, his success within the franchise was short-lived. Around 1914, Firestone grew more substantial than they anticipated, which led to franchises losing territory. Unfortunately for O’Neal, this harmed his business.

In 1915, due to a lack of success within Firestone, he created his own company known as The General Tire and Rubber Company. Through a partnership involving his father, he was able to pool together $200,000 in capital to get the business off the ground. From there, O’Neal was able to hire several managers from his previous franchise that knew their way around the industry.

The General Tire and Rubber Company began as a tire repair and materials company, but in 1916 they began producing premium tires. These high-end tires acted as replacements for popular vehicles like the Ford Model T. Despite the dangerous economic conditions from the first World War, O’Neal was able to stabilize and grow his tire company.

By the 1930s, the company had 14 retailers and a vast dealership network that gave the company a hefty market share. When the Great Depression struck, the company had enough capital to buy out popular competitors, including Yale Tire and Rubber and India Tire and Rubber. By the late 1930s, The General Tire and Rubber Company nearly doubled their market share and proved that they were here to stay.

Once the depression came to a close, the company made an exciting move into radio broadcasting. The step was a massive success, as it led to improved market share and reach. By 1955, General Tire and Rubber Company made its final radio acquisition. They bought out the popular RKO Radio Pictures from the famous Howard Hughes for around $25 million. With all of this income and reach, The General Tire and Rubber Company quickly became a popular household name.

As time went on, the company needed to reorganize its wealth and structure to account for its profitable broadcasting network. In 1984, GenCorp was formed and owned General Tire and RKO General as subsidiaries. While this helped the company handle its vast network, General Tire was sold off to Continental AG in 1987.

Continental AG is a German-owned company that specializes in a wide array of automotive parts. From brakes to tires, Continental AG handles it all. While General Tire may have been sold off, to this day, it acts as Continental AG’s main American operation. So, while General Tire began its journey as an American company, today it operates under German ownership. Luckily, if there is one thing that Germany is known for, it’s their success within the automotive industry.

What Makes General Tires Unique

Not all tires are made the same, which can make shopping through all of the tire brands a challenge. The good news is that General Tire goes the extra mile with their tires, literally, and makes sure that consumers can enjoy quality and longevity with their brand. Let’s take a look at what makes a General tire a special tire.

Customer Satisfaction

Shopping for tires is a long process and one that takes a lot of time. General Tire makes sure that this process is as simple as possible, and even when you’ve already made a purchase, the company offers extensive support. The primary way that General Tire maintains customer satisfaction is through their 45-day customer satisfaction guarantee. Regardless of the reason, if you’re unhappy with the General tires that you have, you can return them. Not only is this great for the consumer, but it shows that General Tire is confident in their product.

General Tire also maintains plenty of customer support outside of their customer satisfaction guarantee. For example, General Tire has plenty of locations across the United States where you can go and shop for a tire in person. At these locations, you can speak with knowledgeable representatives that can help you with your tire needs.

Outside of retail locations and their 45-day guarantee, General Tire takes customer service a step further. The company maintains a website and phone service that allows you to get in touch with the company quickly. When it comes to support, General Tire makes sure that you have everything you need.

Heritage

When a company has been around for over a century, a rich heritage develops. The red label that comes standard on all General tires is in place as a reminder that the brand knows how to design great tires. While General Tire may have started as a small tire repair shop in the early 1900s, they have become a household name that many people know and love. Plus, if a brand has been around for over a century, they’re doing something right. When you shop for a General tire, you’re shopping for everything that went into making that tire.

Warranty

When you’re shopping for a tire, one of the first things you should look at is the warranty that a company offers. The warranty gives you a rough estimate of how long a tire will last, and it’s nice peace of mind to know that you can get a replacement if a tire wears down too quickly. General Tire knows how important providing consumers with a proper warranty is, which is why their warranty for passenger tires is exceptional.

On average, most tire manufacturers provide you with a warranty that lasts around 50,000 miles. General Tire exceeds this average in select passenger tires, and you can expect to see a warranty of up to 75,000 miles on their passenger tire lineup. While 75,000 miles is their best warranty package, General Tire makes sure that all of their tires have a standard warranty between 50,000 and 75,000 miles.

Longevity

One of the most important things to look for in a tire is how long it will last. Let’s face it; nobody enjoys buying a new set of tires, which is why companies do their best to make sure their tires last thousands of miles. General Tire understands this concept well and works hard to produce tires that last longer than the competition.

As evident in their 75,000-mile warranty, General tires last a long time. When you look at the warranty of a tire, take a second to consider what a warranty is. Plus, General tires are known to last longer than their warranty. With a guarantee of up to 75,000 miles and the promise of many more, General Tire knows a thing or two about longevity.

Versatility

When shopping for tires, you’ll come across a lot of different specifications. These include all-season tires, passenger tires, off-road tires, and many more. Depending on your vehicle, everyone needs a different tire, which is why General Tire makes sure that their product list is up to date.

To keep up with demand and rapidly changing vehicles, General Tire focuses on making sure everyone can have a durable and safe tire. With General Tire, you’ll find tires for light trucks, passenger cars, high-performance cars, winter conditions, and even commercial tires. Regardless of the terrain, General tires can get you to your destination.

Commercial Truck Support

Commercial support is something a lot of tire companies fail to capitalize on. While passenger cars and light trucks are great tire markets, General Tire offers support for consumers that own commercial vehicles. Commercial tires are held to different standards in regards to durability, longevity, and traction, which is why a lot of companies tend to shy away from commercial tire production.

General Tire offers a wide range of commercial tires for large trucks, small transport vehicles, and trailers. Not only does the company offer these tires, but they come in plenty of different sizes and styles to fit as many needs as possible. If you’re shopping for commercial tires, and you’re having a tough time finding one, General Tire is a great place to look.

General Tires Design Features

Knowing what makes a tire special is one thing, but when you’re looking at a specific tire, you want to see why it’s the right choice. We’ve done the research and compiled some compelling features that make General Tire one of the best brands on the market. So, here is a look at some of the innovations that General Tire brings to the table.

Tread Compound

The tread of a tire is one of the essential features to look for when shopping for a tire. General Tire works hard to make their tread and sidewalls strong and durable; if you want your tire to last a long time, it all comes down to the tread. The materials that make up the tread compound of General tires is designed to mitigate damage and dangerous conditions on the road. The compound resistant to projectile damage, like pebbles on a highway and tire bruising. Overall, General Tire spends a lot of time ensuring that their tires are durable and long-lasting.

Smart Grip Technology

General tires are manufactured and designed with high-end technology that offers enhanced grip. One of General Tire’s specialties is handling ice and rain. In the rain or snow, Smart Grip technology helps General tires keep your car hooked to the road.

Smart Grip technology creates tread and biting edges that allow a driver to make more precise responses when turning. For example, at high speeds, drivers using General tires can make swift moves on the road. Smart Grip technology also enhances a vehicle’s response time and traction in poor road conditions.

StabiliTread technology

When it comes to cornering at high speeds, you need a tire that can keep your car stable and level through the turn. General Tire knows how vital quality competition tires are, which is why they developed their StabiliTread technology. Not only is StabiliTread technology unique to General Tire, but it’s one of the most innovative tire tread compositions on the market.

StabiliTread technology works by creating a contact patch between the ground and the tire’s surface. Most tires use a contact patch, to begin with, but with StabliTread technology, the contact patch is wider than usual. When working with a larger contact patch, drivers benefit from a firmer grip that keeps the tire connected to the road during cornering.

Balance

General tires offer you a sense of balance and control when you’re behind the wheel. Feeling balanced on the road is important because you want to make sure that your tires have the traction they need in any condition. General tires offer this traction and control through their unique tread patterns.

The tread pattern uses grooves that are both enclosed and open to keep your vehicle from hydroplaning. Also, General tires utilize deep sipes to help push back any water that may get between you and your tires. When it comes to balance, it’s hard to beat the feeling of control you get when driving with General tires.

Deep sipes

In General Tire’s high-performance line of tires, you’ll find deep sipes. The sipe of a tire acts as a water repellent, and they work by dispersing any water that gets in your tire treads. While most tires have sipes, not every tire has sipes as deep as General tires.

By using these deep sipes, General Tire makes sure that their summer tires and high-performance tires can maintain traction if they come into contact with water. Let’s face it; you have to be ready for a rainy day regardless of the vehicle you’re driving. The added safety that General Tire’s deep sipes provide makes their non-all-season tires a safe choice in hazardous conditions.

General Tires Recognition

General Tire has been around for over a century, and when a company maintains that level of success, recognition is bound to follow. In this section, we take a look at the achievements and milestones that General Tire reached along their journey.

NASCAR

General Tire impressed a lot of people when they won an exclusive deal with NASCAR. The tire company will be producing tires for the K&N Pro Series, Pinty’s Series, and the PEAK Mexico Series. These competitions will only be using General tires, and that’s a testament to the quality and performance of their tires. The deal has been in place as of 2019 and is set to last for the next six years.

Supplier of the Year

The supplier of the year award was created by General Motors twenty-seven years ago, and in 2018, the parent company of General Tire (Continental) won the award for the third year in a row. The supplier of the year award is given out to General Motor’s best tire suppliers, and the winner is determined by evaluating several factors.

The winner is judged by their purchasing, customer care, aftersale support, and global purchasing and manufacturing capabilities. The team that judges the companies is comprised of General Motors executives within the logistics, global purchasing, and quality fields. Winning this award for three straight years is a testament to the quality of General tires.

Rocketry

Not a lot of tire companies can say that they’ve been involved with aerospace companies, but General Tire was a partner of Aerojet. Formed in the 1930s by a group of engineers from the California Institute of Technology, Aerojet began working on rocket engines for airplanes. Aerojet did not have the materials they needed, which led to a partnership with General Tire. The partnership resulted in Aerojet being renamed Aerojet-General. The partnership led to the creation of their famous Aerobee sounding rocket. General Tire does not participate in the rocketry industry today, but it’s fascinating to see how General Tire’s rubber was used in the past.

Best Selling General Tires

General tires maintain a level of quality that’s unmatched across all of their products, but there are a few tires that stand out. If you’re in the market for a tire, and like the idea of General tires, here are a few tires that reflect the best that General Tire has to offer.

General AltiMax RT43 Radial Tire

The General AltiMax RT43 Radial Tire is one of General Tire’s top-selling tires. The tire features all-season treads that do their job well, and these tires come at a low price tag compared to brands like Bridgestone and Toyo. The tread designs incorporate traction enhancements developed for all-terrain tires, which means that these tires even offer a little bit of off-road potential as well.

General Grabber AT2 Radial Tire

The General Grabber AT2 Radial Tire is an aggressive-looking all-terrain tire. A step up from General Tire’s all-season tires, the General Grabber AT2 Radial Tire offers a more aggressive look and better off-road traction. One unique aspect of this tire is the self-cleaning tread pattern that keeps dirt and grime off the tire. While the cleanliness of your tires may not seem like a priority, if the treads of a tire remain dirty, it can impact a tire’s performance.

General Grabber UHP Radial Tire

General Grabber UHP Radial Tire is one of General Tire’s recent creations. The tire features the best of General Tire’s engineering and features deep sipes and unique tread grooves that keep a car straight in harsh conditions. The tread grooves start at the shoulder and end at the center of the tire, which is the opposite of how most tread designs are made. The reason for this choice is that the grooves do a better job of removing water from the surface of a tire. Plus, these tires feature sound reduction technology.

General HD

The General HD is a new commercial tire that caters to long hauling needs. These tires come in a handful of different sizes, and they feature a design that caters to fuel efficiency and durability. The closed shoulder treads keep the tire safe from projectiles, and their lightweight rubber improves fuel efficiency.

A List of Available General Tires

High-Performance Summer

General Exclaim UHP
General G-Max RS

High-Performance All-Season

General Altimax HP
General Exclaim HPX
General G-MAX AS-03
General G-Max AS-05
Standard All-Season
General Altimax RT
General Altimax RT43

Light Truck, SUV, Crossover

General AmeriTrac
General AmeriTrac TR
General Grabber APT
General Grabber AT2
General Grabber ATX
General Grabber AW
General Grabber HD
General Grabber HTS
General Grabber HTS60
General Grabber MT
General Grabber Red Letter
General Grabber UHP
General Grabber X3

Commercial

Grabber OA
Grabber OA WB
General WT
General ST250 LP
General RD
General RA
General HS
General HT
General HD