Most car buffs will recognize Yokohama for their enormous presence on the premium aftermarket, but the Japanese giant produces a huge range of other tires as well. From the specialty drift tires that made the company famous to heavy-duty off-road truck tires, Yokohama continues to innovate and create perpetually improving products to automotive enthusiasts across the world.
You won’t see many vehicles in the U.S. roll out of the factory with Yokohama tires. There are only a few companies that factory-equip vehicles with the brand’s tires. Most of Yokohama’s business comes from selling to individual consumers, generally catering towards enthusiasts. With this business model and its commercial lines, Yokohama sells over five billion dollars of rubber each year.
- What Sets Yokohama Apart?
- Yokohama Design Features
- Yokohama Warranty Information
- Yokohama Corporate Responsibility
- Yokohama’s Best Selling Tires
- All Tire Models: Yokohama Tires
What Sets Yokohama Apart?
As any Yokohama fanatic will tell you, the company is famous for its incredibly high quality, defect-free products. But how did they earn that reputation?
The answer lies in their rigorous quality control system. Yokohama tests at standards well above required for all of their products, and they use several advanced processes to assure tires meet their standards.
The first step of quality control happens during product design, when tires are put through intense simulations to make sure they meet rigorous performance benchmarks. These simulations can test aerodynamics, tread wear, water performance, or any of the other few dozen characteristics that Yokohama looks for. Even before production, Yokohama has scrapped hundreds of tire designs. Only the best survive this process.
During production, quality control systems test each and every tire that leaves the factory. Visual and material inspections are done, but before being shipped, tires pass through one final product check. Each unit is run through a computerized analysis that measures and evaluates the tire to specific company codes. By the time a tire is available for sale, it has passed dozens of quality benchmarks before being approved for purchase.
Yokohama certainly isn’t a budget brand, and the company’s higher-end offerings sell at a premium price. That’s not to say that they don’t have cheaper offerings, though, as plenty of consumers seeking a day-to-day tire end up purchasing a set of Yokohama tires. To give you an idea of price, the company doesn’t sell many tires below $75.
While Yokohama doesn’t sell bargain-basement tires, loyal customers come back time after time for one reason: value. Sure, you can buy another brand’s tire for $40, but sometimes it won’t even be guaranteed for 30,000 miles, and good luck trying to get your money back with that warranty. Yokohama guarantees all of its tires to at least 60,000 miles. A ‘quality and materials guarantee’ assures that product damage and defects are also covered.
In practice, this means Yokohama tires will last twice as long as cheap competitors. By investing a little more up front you can end up with big savings at the back end. But the benefit doesn’t stop there—instead of rolling around on cheap rubber for the last 60,000 miles, you’ll have spent your time enjoying the benefits of a premium, high-quality product. That’s the value you get out of a Yokohama tire.
30 Day Trial
Tire shopping is notoriously difficult, you can’t just take a new set of rubber for a test drive. Reading reviews might help, but there’s no way to really know if you’ll like what you buy until the tires are installed and paid for.
Until now. Yokohama recently unveiled a program where you can buy one of their eight most popular models and return them after 30 days for any reason. This program works with online retailers as well, just make sure you get the tires back within that 30-day period. This program is revolutionary for picky buyers, and it never hurts to try a pair out. Be careful because Yokohama doesn’t offer this program with all of their models, so make sure you know which ones have the program available before purchasing.
Made in the USA
Although Yokohama is a Japanese brand, they do a bigger portion of their manufacturing in the U.S. than many American-founded companies. The Japanese giant has two factories in the states, one in Virginia and another one in West Point, Mississippi, which primarily produces truck and bus tires.
Although they have several massive American facilities, most tires targeted at consumers are manufactured overseas. That being said, Yokohama has shown a significant commitment to employing American workers and producing quality US-built products.
Yokohama in the Aftermarket
Yokohama is famed in the world of auto-modding and tuning. Its products are specifically sensitive to the needs of those looking to upgrade and improve their car. Yokohama has worked with drift racing teams and car enthusiasts alike to come out with products and innovations that work for drivers, not just big conglomerates.
Even if you’re not an enthusiast, these consumer-friendly touches can improve your tire buying experience. Yokohama has more niche products than other big manufacturers, so whatever you’re looking for, there is a tire for you. The company is also renowned for its transparency and clear documentation, which will help you with installation and tire selection. They’ve got great warranties and customer service, and Yokohama is particular about the retailers they work with so that your tire questions will always be answered by an expert.
Yokohama Design Features
Yokohama is known for its attention to detail, and this is seen in the dozens of technologies the company has developed, patented, and unveiled over the last 50 or so years.
In 2012 Yokohama unveiled a concept called BluEarth, an initiative that extends across their supply chain and product line, emphasizing tangible environmental impact reduction. The technology applies to their corporate activities, but it has also been implemented in their tires, and the engineering team has developed new technologies to help improve consumer experiences while simultaneously being earth-friendly.
Yokohama has developed new materials that reduce rolling resistance on their tires, helping you get a few extra miles out of each gas fill-up. The new compound has the added benefit of better traction in wet conditions. Also improved are the aerodynamics of the tires, which not only helps with efficiency but also reduces road vibration and cabin noise at speed.
Shortly after BluEarth was unveiled, a new compound was released for use in all Yokohama tires. The engineering team developed a new polymer that added silica and orange oil to the rubber-polymer matrix. The all-natural orange oil is extracted from orange peels and is then added during the rubber manufacturing process to soften the surface of the tire and thus improve traction. The added silica reduces rolling resistance by improving heat dispersion. Both of these combined simultaneously improve fuel efficiency and tire performance.
Matrix Rayon Body Ply
Yokohama has a massive presence in motorsports, and while that exposure is great for the brand, it’s great for tire buyers too. The company is constantly innovating and competes in a range of disciplines, from F1, to drifting, to off-road rally events. The technology that Yokohama utilizes is tested, tried, and then put through the wringer – and only the very best technology arrives in the tires that you can put on your car.
Matrix Rayon Body Ply is one of these technologies. Yokohama created a structurally rigid matrix that is placed on the inside of some tire models. This structure supports the rubber from within, making the tire stiffer which yields benefits to steering stability while maintaining a smooth and comfortable ride.
Yokohama Warranty Information
Yokohama has some of the best quality products in the industry and backs up all of their tires with mileage guarantees. The company’s warranties range from 40,000 miles for Geolandar models up to 85,000 miles for touring AVID models. 85,000 miles is an eternity in the tire world, and only the Italian company Pirelli makes a tire with a longer warranty.
A History of Yokohama
Yokohama was founded in 1917 in collaboration with Goodrich. The company is named after the city where it was founded, Yokohama. Goodrich provided U.S. manufacturing equipment to the company who then started making rubber products, manufacturing tires for the world’s first mass-produced cars. Yokohama began innovating right away, and by 1921 they produced a tire that lasted 3 years longer than the other products available on the market.
The company gradually became independent of Goodrich and grew into Asian markets over the next few decades. The start of World War Two ended up being good for the company, and the manufacturer shifted to producing tires for military applications in the late 30s and early 40s. But as the Japanese military was decimated towards the end of the war, so was Yokohama’s main market.
By the early 50s they emerged as one of the success stories of post-war Japan. Yokohama continued to make product innovations and ended up with a fantastic reputation for product quality. In 1969 they entered the United States market, at that time exclusively selling tires for passenger vehicles. This is when they first pursued an aggressive growth and marketing campaign, sponsoring motorsport events to boost their presence.
As the 80s rolled around, Yokohama had developed a reputation in the U.S. for tremendous quality, and the company expanded rapidly across the country. By this time, their supply chain had become international, and their factories produced tires in Japan, the United States, Indonesia, and India.
As early as 1993 Yokohama began to see the damaging environmental impacts of the industry and started setting goals for emissions and waste reductions. In 1998, Yokohama plants were certified as ISO 14001, a designation that requires rigorous environmental production standards. By 2017, they reached their goal of planting 500,000 trees at their factories to help combat environmental damage.
The brand has continued to grow, and now they operate on 5 continents, representing themselves across the world as a prestigious legacy brand.
Yokohama and Auto Racing
Yokohama uses auto racing not only for marketing purposes but also to refine and develop its product offerings. Since Yokohama is famous for its extensive tire line, the company needs sources of innovation to continue bringing the best products to market.
This involves working with racing teams of all classes. Yokohama sponsors F1, and some of those technologies trickle down to the consumer tires that are available for consumer purchase. Drift racing emphasizes grip and durability, which leads to more durable tires for drivers. Rally and off-road sports teams can help the company develop tires with innovative traction technologies.
The most recent instance of this collaboration is Yokohama’s success on the Japanese F3 circuit, where racing tire technology has been developed specifically with the consumer market in mind. Yokohama will continue to dedicate resources to racing with the goal of bringing racing-based technologies to market.
Yokohama and Sport
Yokohama’s sponsorships extend well beyond motorsports. They notably were the main sponsor of the world-famous Chelsea Football Club, supporting the team as they won the Premier League title in both 2015 and 2017. Another professional team they sponsor is the Los Angeles Angels.
Currently, they also sponsor Nitro Circus, the extreme sports television show and competition. They’re the official tire sponsor of U.S. Youth League Soccer and the Spartan Race, an adventure running competition.
Yokohama in the Tire Industry
Yokohama has yearly revenues that place it in the top 10 of all tire companies worldwide. It’s the second-biggest tire company in Japan, behind Sumitomo Rubber Industries, and it’s the fourth biggest tire company in Asia.
Yokohama has a unique niche in the Asian market as its products have higher consumer penetration stateside than other Asian tire companies, which mostly sell in Asian markets. While Yokohama primarily manufactures products for consumer passenger vehicles, they also have a large presence in commercial markets, where they sell tires for busses and heavy equipment.
With passenger vehicle tires, Yokohama has a reputation for extensive quality control. They produce a lower volume of more premium products and the company prides itself on exceeding quality control standards worldwide. This reputation is how Yokohama has made itself the biggest Asian tire manufacturer by market share in the United States
Yokohama Corporate Responsibility
Yokohama places an emphasis on social and environmental responsibility, emphasizing two specific programs designed to create a positive impact on the world.
In general, the tire industry has a poor reputation regarding sustainability, but in recent years Yokohama has upset the status quo. The company has brought 93% of its products to an environmentally sustainable standard since 2013. They’ve also made strong promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as they’ve pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2050.
Another huge problem that plagues tire companies is the tremendous amount of waste produced during the manufacture and disposal of tires. Yokohama is taking steps to address this as well, and they have steadily and consistently reduced waste production every year since a peak in 2011.
St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund
In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, Yokohama began a relief effort for truckers affected by the virus. With this program, Yokohama aims to honor and support the key staff in the transportation industry that keeps vital goods moving even during emergency situations. The relief fund itself helps drivers and their families during illness and injury. The charity gives assistance in the form of direct support for rent, utilities, vehicle payments, and insurance. The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. As part of this program, Yokohama is giving all donors to the fund a rebate on any purchase. If you donate over $10, Yokohama will give a $60 discount on a full set of tires.
Yokohama’s Best Selling Tires
The AVID series is Yokohama’s bread-and-butter offering that offers reliability, quality, and performance to everyday drivers. These tires are sized for passenger cars, crossovers, and minivans. They’re designed to perform in standard driving conditions for people like me and you.
The AVID product line is designed for all-season performance. Although they have a bit of a sporty vibe, predominantly these tires are designed for the characteristics commuters and city drivers look for—fuel efficiency, comfort, and safety.
The top-selling AVID Models are:
- AVID Ascend: The two Avid Ascend models are standard touring models with improved capability in adverse weather conditions. The tread is designed to deliver superior traction and braking when driving in rain and snow. This tire is also part of Yokohama’s 30-day trial program.
- AVID Touring-S: The Touring-S is the AVID line’s performance-oriented model, and its tread is designed with a twin-rail stability rib that provides stiffness for improved handling. Although it has a performance bent, it’s still firmly rooted in the all-season, long-lasting attributes of a touring tire.
Tires with the ADVAN label are tested and designed to rigorous performance and quality control standards. These models are based on the same technology that initially brought Yokohama to the forefront of the aftermarket scene. The tread and rubber design utilizes race technology in tires optimized and built for street use. They come at a premium price, but for discerning drivers of performance vehicles, this is one of the most popular tire lines in the world.
Yokohama’s bestsellers in the ADVAN performance lineup are:
- Yokohama ADVAN Sport ZPS: This set of rubber maintains the racing lineage of an ADVAN tire while adding some features to make it more practical for daily use. Most notable is the tire’s RunFlat technology, which allows a driver to continue driving for up to 50 miles after getting a flat tire.
- Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S: This tire is designed to straddle the line between race tire and street tire, taking some elements from performance tires and some from more common all season offerings. They do not require specialized racing wheels and, as such, will fit on most factory wheel options.
- Yokohama ADVAN Neova: The ADVAN Neova one of the most performance-oriented street tires on the market, throwing all sensibility out the window while still maintaining street legality. All we have to say? It’s probably the fastest tire you’ve ever driven on.
Geolandar is Yokohama’s truck, off-road, and SUV line. The product range starts with offerings meant for commuting and ends with extreme trail tires. These designs use technology from Yokohama’s off-road racing teams that compete in events like the Baja 1000 and the Ultra4 Jeep Racing Series.
For Yokohama’s famed Geolandar line, some of the most popular models are:
- Yokohama Geolandar H/T: The Yokohama H/T is a tire on the ‘road’ end of the spectrum, mostly sold to SUV and crossover owners. While it still maintains good poor-weather and off-road performance, it’s also great for highway driving and comes with an incredible 70,000-mile warranty.
- Yokohama Geolandar X-MT: This tire represents the other side of the Geolandar range, meant for rock-crawlers and heavy-duty trail trucks. It has the best traction of any Yokohama tire available for sale. It’s not meant for daily driving, only demanding off-road use.
All Tire Models: Yokohama Tires
Extreme Performance Summer
Max Performance Summer
ADVAN Apex V601
ADVAN Sport V105
ADVAN Sport V105G
ADVAN Sport ZPS
Grand Touring All-Season
AVID Ascend (H- or V-Speed Rated)
AVID Ascend GT
AVID GT S35A
Standard Touring All-Season
Studless Ice & Snow
Performance Winter / Snow
Streetable Track & Competition
ADVAN A052 (Original)
Light Truck/SUV Tires
Street/Sport Truck Summer
Street/Sport Truck All-Season
Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season
Highway Rib Summer
Off-Road Maximum Traction
Geolandar M/T G003