Here at Bowles Automotive we are tire experts. We care about you and you deserve the quality of BFGoodrich tires on your vehicle. In an effort to keep you and your family on the safest tires available, Bowles Automotive sells BFGoodrich tires at cost! Labor and taxes are additional. Maybe you only think of us as your repair shop, but who else knows your car and your driving habits better than your mechanic?
When you need new tires come see what Bowles has to offer. Not only can we repair or replace your tires, our experts can explain to you why your tires wore unevenly and make professional recommendations, adjustments or repairs to fix the problem so you get the maximum life from your tires.
Do your tires have uneven wear or did they ware out quicker than expected? When you install new tires you will also want to take advantage of our state of the art alignment service that will help to ensure you get the maximum life from your tires.
We also suggest you take advantage of our Nitrogen fill service for your tires. Using Nitrogen in place of regular compressed air improves tire wear and gas mileage. Nitrogen keeps your tires running cooler and does not leak off as fast as air.
At Bowles Automotive we take pride in the high quality BF Goodrich tires we install for our valued customers. Getting the best performance and life out of any tire requires that all the mechanical systems that effect tire ware are in good condition and set to proper specifications. The menu below will give you a brief description of a few of the systems you need to be aware of.For more information about tires and and the systems that control there performance and life visit our virtual garage page on tires by clicking "here"
See information on quality Michelin and BF Goodrich tires below.
To see our catalog of quality BFGoodrich tires click here.
With operations in eight countries, the BFGoodrich Company manufactures and supplies a wide range of systems and component parts for the aerospace industry, and provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services on commercial, regional, business, and general aviation aircraft. The company also manufactures specialty plastics and specialty additives products for a variety of end-user applications. In addition, it produces chlor-alkali and olefins products. BFGoodrich has manufacturing operations and aircraft service centers in eight countries. Throughout most of its history Goodrich built its business on rubber production, gaining a reputation among U.S. tire makers as a leader in product development and innovation. In the early 20th century Goodrich used its experience in the rubber industry to diversify into chemicals and plastics, and it spearheaded the development of synthetic rubber technology during World War II. The company prospered during the postwar era but faced difficulties when the U.S. auto industry's decline in the 1970s curtailed the demand for tires. Convinced that its future lay in chemicals and plastics, the company's directors embarked on a long and often difficult restructuring plan. Goodrich finally divested itself of its tire business in 1987, emerging as a leaner, more profitable company. The company continues to strengthen its aerospace and specialty chemicals business groups.
Early Commitment to Research and Development
From very early in its history Goodrich committed itself to research and development in rubber technology. Under the aegis of Goodrich's son, Charles Cross Goodrich, the company opened the rubber industry's first experimental research laboratory in 1895. Arthur H. Marks, one of Goodrich's engineers, was responsible for several breakthroughs in the processing of crude rubber. In its natural form, crude rubber is very sensitive to changes in temperature, becoming hard and brittle when cooled, and soft and tacky when heated. Vulcanization, a process first discovered by Charles Goodyear in 1839, mixes crude rubber with sulfur and heat to convert it to a durable material unaffected by changes in climate. At the turn of the century, Arthur Marks pioneered a procedure for devulcanizing vulcanized rubber, thus enabling producers to reclaim crude rubber from manufactured goods for re-use. Marks also developed methods for speeding vulcanization by adding certain organic chemical accelerators to the process. The use of such compounds reduced the time necessary for vulcanization by as much as 75 percent.
Goodrich continued to apply the latest technology to its tire production. In 1910 it introduced the first cord tire for use on U.S. automobiles. This tire, which reduced fuel consumption and increased the comfort of the ride, was developed in Silver-town, England, and marketed there as the Palmer Cord. Goodrich purchased the patent rights for it in the United States and sold it to U.S. consumers as the Silvertown Cord. Other innovations in Goodrich's tire manufacturing included the use of other organic compounds to resist deterioration by heat, oxidation, and flexing; and carbon black, a coloring pigment that improved the tires' resistance to abrasion.
Postwar Return to the Consumer Market
Goodrich avoided any postwar interruptions in its growth by quickly converting to meet consumer demand. The U.S. auto industry's return to peacetime production kept the demand for tires high, and Goodrich met this demand by introducing the first 100 percent synthetic rubber tire in 1945. Two years later it developed the tubeless puncture-sealing tire that increased motorists' protection from blow-outs. The company's LifeSaver and Safetyliner tubeless tires gained wide popularity in the early 1950s, and by 1955 tubeless tires became standard equipment on new cars. Ten years later Goodrich brought another innovation to U.S. drivers, the first radial tires for passenger cars. The radial dramatically changed the U.S. tire industry by increasing tire life by up to 50 percent, and like its tubeless predecessor, it ultimately became standard equipment on U.S. cars.
Goodrich further diversified its production in the postwar era. Continuing a long tradition of research and development, it opened a new research center in Brecksville, Ohio, in 1948. B.F. Goodrich Chemical Company, a subsidiary founded in 1943, took over the company's wartime plants and built new ones in Marietta and Avon Lake, Ohio, and in Calvert City, Kentucky. Production of Goodrich's Geon and Koroseal plastic products expanded into overseas markets with joint ventures in Britain and Japan. By 1955 Goodrich was manufacturing goods in five different areas, including tires, chemicals and plastics, footwear and flooring, industrial products, and sponge rubber goods. It had operations in 21 nations on six continents, and in 1966 its sales reached a record $1 billion.
Challenges of 1960s and 1970s
Goodrich's fortunes declined, however, when a 1967 strike began a decade of rocky labor relations and interrupted production. In April 1967 the URW walked off of jobs at Goodrich, Firestone, and Uniroyal, and the resulting strike stalled rubber production in Akron for 86 days. That strike, along with a six-month work stoppage at one of the company's chemical plants, cost Goodrich a 27.6 percent decrease in its profits from the previous year. Three years later Goodrich was once again facing serious losses because of strikes in the rubber and related industries. The URW walked out on Goodrich plants for five weeks, while strikes by the Teamsters Union and General Motors workers also hurt the nation's tire markets. Goodrich's net income in 1970 dropped by $22 million. Continued hard times in the nation's auto and rubber industries brought Goodrich back to the bargaining table in 1976. A 141-day URW strike stopped production in all of Goodrich's domestic tire plants and finally required the intercession of U.S. Labor Secretary W. J. Usery, Jr. to settle it.
These crippling experiences with labor disputes and the stagnation of the U.S. auto industry convinced Goodrich that its future was not in tires. In 1971 Goodrich's net income had fallen to $1.7 million from a high of $48.6 million in 1966.
Strategic Moves in the 1990s
With the full divestiture of its tire business, Goodrich became a company devoted solely to the production of chemicals, plastics, and aerospace goods. The recovery of its PVC business and the wise investment of capital gained from its tire division sale had in the early 1990s stabilized the company. But in 1993 chief executive John D. Ong sold off the PVC business, to the concern of investors, in favor of emphasizing the company's other chemical businesses.
Some analysts were skeptical of these strategic turns. Writer Zachary Schiller of Business Week, for example, noted that "The company has produced an average annual return on equity of just 1.4 percent since Ong became CEO in 1979, compared with an average of 14.4 percent for the companies in the Standard & Poors Industrials index." Moreover, the companies in the S&P index posted a 5.4 percent annual gain, but Goodrich's sales fell an average of 3.5 percent per year, wrote Schiller. Stock lagged at 44, not even close to its 1989 height of 69.
Ong, however, noted for his willingness to change course, pushed into aerospace, although the industry had been sluggish for more than a decade. He built on Goodrich's aircraft parts and servicing business. Using proceeds from the sale of PVC, BFGoodrich acquired in 1993 Cleveland Pneumatic Co., a landing gear maker that complemented Goodrich's wheel-and-brake business, and Rosemount Aerospace, which made sensors that measure flight and data (speed and temperature, for example). That same year also marked the additions of the Landing Gear Division and Landing Gear Services Division, and Sanncor Industries.
Ong persisted with his current business mix, pointing out that the company was now positioned for growth opportunities. By 1994 the specialty chemical business started to show improvement, and the aerospace business held promise. The air-craft wheel-and-brake business gradually grew into aircraft parts and servicing. The following year BFGoodrich acquired QSI, Inc. in Greenville, South Carolina. In 1995 purchases included Hoskins Aviation and de-icing product lines and associated technology from Lucas Aerospace.
By 1996 BFGoodrich reported that earnings in 1996 were significantly higher than in the past three years. For the second year in a row, BFGoodrich Aerospace and BFGoodrich Specialty Chemical set records for sales and operating income. The growing demand for replacement products and service proved advantageous to the aerospace division, which also benefited from the upturn in new commercial aircraft production. BFGoodrich Specialty Chemicals acquired five businesses and increased manufacturing capacity at existing facilities. Moreover, three new plants were seen as the base for further expansion in Europe and Asia.
In the mid-1990s, Ong reflected on the last decade that took BFGoodrich from a struggling company that manufactured commodity products and sold them in highly cyclical markets to a streamlined organization focused on specialty businesses. He noted that the company's inclination for risk-taking lay within the BFGoodrich structure rather than outside. By late 1996 BFGoodrich shares reached "historic, 126-year highs" and trade at levels once thought unlikely, Ong said. He added that after challenges rocked corporate America in the 1980s and 1990s, BFGoodrich started reaching goals. Ong noted that market capitalization at the end of 1996 had increased by about 100 percent from the time the new BFGoodrich came into being at the end of 1993.