The Global Impact of Japanese Tire Manufacturer Yokohama

It may not be the world’s largest tire company in terms of revenue or the number of tires produced, but Yokohama is definitely one of the most important companies around. Famous for numerous industry-first applications and huge participation in motorsports, this tire brand has a special place in the hearts of many enthusiasts. That’s why this article is all about the impact this Japanese company had on the tire industry.

Brief History

Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited, commonly known as Yokohama, is a Japanese tire manufacturer with a rich and storied history that spans over a century. Founded in 1917 in Yokohama, Japan, the company initially focused on producing a diverse range of rubber products, including belts, hoses, and footwear.

The company's tire manufacturing journey began in 1919 when it started producing its first-ever tire, aptly named the "Yokohama." From its inception, Yokohama demonstrated a commitment to innovation and quality, setting the stage for its rise as a prominent player in the global tire industry.

Over the years, Yokohama expanded its operations and expertise, continually introducing cutting-edge technologies and pioneering industry-first innovations. In 1930, the company established its research and development division, emphasizing a dedication to advancing tire technology and performance.

During the post-World War II period, Yokohama focused on rebuilding and re-establishing its presence in the market. In the 1960s, the company further intensified its research efforts, leading to the introduction of high-performance tires that gained recognition in the motorsports world. This involvement in motorsports, including races like the Macau Grand Prix and the World Rally Championship, not only enhanced the company's brand image but also provided valuable insights for improving tire performance and durability.

In 1969, Yokohama made its first international expansion by establishing a subsidiary in the United States, marking the beginning of its global presence. Since then, the company has continued to expand its operations across various regions, including Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

As Yokohama gained traction in the global market, it solidified its position as a technology leader with the introduction of several pioneering innovations. One of the most notable breakthroughs was the implementation of orange oil technology in tire compounds, as mentioned earlier. This eco-friendly advancement not only improved tire performance but also showcased the company's commitment to sustainable practices.

Today, Yokohama Rubber Company stands as a prominent player in the tire industry, offering a diverse range of products for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and various other applications. Its tires are renowned for their exceptional performance, durability, and innovative features. Yokohama continues to invest in research and development to remain at the forefront of tire technology and to address emerging challenges, such as environmental sustainability and changing market demands.

Yokohama's Logo

The Global Impact of Japanese Tire Manufacturer Yokohama

Yokohama’s impact on the tire industry is significant. This company is responsible for so many technological achievements and industry-first applications, so let’s check some of the most important milestones that changed this segment of the automotive industry:

Orange Oil Technology

Orange Oil Technology, also known as OTR (Oil Treated Rubber) or Super Nano-Power Rubber, is an innovative tire manufacturing technology developed by Yokohama Rubber Company. It represents a significant advancement in tire compound formulation and has gained recognition for its positive impact on tire performance and environmental sustainability.

The key component of Orange Oil Technology is the use of natural orange oil derived from orange peels in the rubber compound. This approach replaces a portion of the traditional petroleum-based materials typically used in tire production. The orange oil is extracted through a specialized process that breaks down the orange peels and separates the oil from the other components.

The incorporation of orange oil offers several advantages in tire manufacturing:

  • Enhanced Traction: Orange oil has a high molecular weight, which helps improve the interaction between the tire and the road surface. This leads to enhanced traction and grip, especially in wet and slippery conditions.
  • Reduced Rolling Resistance: Rolling resistance is the force required to keep a tire moving. By using orange oil in the tire compound, Yokohama has managed to reduce rolling resistance. Lower rolling resistance results in improved fuel efficiency, leading to better mileage and reduced carbon emissions.
  • Improved Wet Performance: The inclusion of orange oil in the tire compound enhances the tire's ability to disperse water and maintain contact with the road, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and improving wet weather performance.
  • Longer Tread Life: Orange Oil Technology contributes to the durability and longevity of the tire. The unique properties of orange oil in the compound help the tire maintain its performance characteristics over an extended period, leading to longer tread life.
  • Environmental Benefits: By using natural orange oil, Yokohama reduces the reliance on petroleum-based materials in tire manufacturing. This helps to decrease the environmental impact of tire production and aligns with the company's commitment to sustainability.
  • Low Heat Generation: The presence of orange oil in the tire compound leads to less heat generation during driving. This reduction in heat buildup contributes to overall tire performance and longevity.

ADVAN Racing Technology

ADVAN Racing Technology is a high-performance wheel design and manufacturing technology developed by Yokohama Rubber Company. The ADVAN brand is synonymous with motorsports and represents Yokohama's commitment to creating top-tier racing wheels that offer exceptional performance, strength, and reliability.

The ADVAN Racing wheels are designed to meet the demands of professional motorsports and high-performance driving enthusiasts. They are known for their cutting-edge engineering, lightweight construction, and aerodynamic features that enhance vehicle performance on both the track and the street.

Key features and aspects of ADVAN Racing Technology include:

  • Material Selection: ADVAN Racing wheels are typically crafted from high-quality materials, such as lightweight aluminum alloys. The choice of materials is crucial in maintaining the wheel's structural integrity while reducing weight for improved performance.
  • Forging Process: Many ADVAN Racing wheels are forged rather than cast. Forging involves subjecting the wheel to extreme pressure and heat, resulting in a denser and more robust structure. Forged wheels tend to be stronger and lighter compared to cast wheels.
  • Design for Strength: The wheel's design is optimized to distribute stresses and loads evenly, ensuring that it can withstand the rigors of high-speed driving and extreme cornering without compromising safety or performance.
  • Lightweight Construction: By using advanced manufacturing techniques and materials, ADVAN Racing wheels achieve significant weight reduction. A lighter wheel means reduced unsprung weight, leading to improved acceleration, braking, and handling.
  • Aerodynamic Features: Some ADVAN Racing wheels incorporate aerodynamic design elements to improve airflow around the wheels, reducing drag and enhancing cooling for the brakes and other components.
  • Testing and Validation: ADVAN Racing wheels undergo rigorous testing and validation processes to ensure they meet the highest performance and safety standards. This includes laboratory tests, computer simulations, and real-world testing on race tracks and various road conditions.
  • Motorsports Heritage: ADVAN Racing wheels have a strong presence in motorsports and have been utilized in various racing disciplines worldwide. Their participation in competitive racing helps validate and refine their design and performance characteristics.
  • Wide Range of Applications: While initially developed for motorsports, ADVAN Racing wheels are available for a wide range of vehicles, including sports cars, performance sedans, and high-end luxury vehicles. They are designed to cater to the specific needs and requirements of different car models and driving styles.


ZERUMA is an innovative concept that focuses on reducing CO2 emissions during the tire manufacturing process by optimizing the tire's shape and structure.

The name "ZERUMA" is derived from "Zero Emission Raw Materials," which reflects Yokohama's commitment to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of tire production. The technology aims to minimize the consumption of raw materials and energy during the manufacturing process, leading to a lower carbon footprint.

Key aspects of ZERUMA technology include:

  • Optimized Structure: ZERUMA involves rethinking the design and construction of tires to achieve more efficient material usage. By optimizing the tire's structure, Yokohama aims to reduce the amount of raw materials required while maintaining or improving tire performance.
  • Reduced Weight: One of the primary objectives of ZERUMA is to decrease the overall weight of the tire. A lighter tire contributes to improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions during the tire's operational life.
  • Improved Fuel Efficiency: By using fewer raw materials and reducing tire weight, ZERUMA technology helps enhance the vehicle's fuel efficiency, leading to reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Sustainable Materials: In addition to optimizing tire structure, Yokohama explores the use of more sustainable and eco-friendly materials in tire production. This includes incorporating recycled materials and exploring alternatives to traditional rubber compounds.
  • Performance Focus: While ZERUMA aims to reduce environmental impact, Yokohama maintains a strong focus on maintaining tire performance and safety standards. The goal is to produce eco-friendly tires without compromising on the quality and performance drivers expect from Yokohama products.

BluEarth Brand

The Yokohama BluEarth brand is a line of eco-friendly and fuel-efficient tires developed by Yokohama Rubber Company. The BluEarth brand represents Yokohama's commitment to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of tire manufacturing and driving.

The BluEarth tires are designed with a focus on four key principles:

  • Fuel Efficiency: BluEarth tires are engineered to reduce rolling resistance, which means they require less energy to move. This results in improved fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, contributing to a greener and more eco-conscious driving experience.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Yokohama incorporates environmentally responsible materials in the production of BluEarth tires. These materials aim to reduce the use of non-renewable resources and promote sustainable tire manufacturing practices.
  • Longevity and Durability: BluEarth tires are designed to offer long tread life and durability. Yokohama aims to reduce the frequency of tire replacements, further contributing to resource conservation and waste reduction.
  • Reduced Noise: Many BluEarth tire models feature noise-reduction technologies, providing a quieter and more comfortable ride while also contributing to a better driving experience for the occupants.

The BluEarth brand encompasses various tire models designed for different types of vehicles, including passenger cars, SUVs, crossovers, and eco-friendly hybrid vehicles. Each model is tailored to offer specific performance characteristics while adhering to the principles of the BluEarth brand.

Yokohama's Tire

Yokohama Involvement in Motorsports

Yokohama Rubber Company has a strong and notable involvement in motorsports, spanning various disciplines and competitions. The company's participation in motorsports has not only contributed to its brand recognition but has also been instrumental in testing and refining its tire technologies for performance and durability. Motorsports provide an ideal platform for Yokohama to test and develop their high-performance tire technologies. The extreme conditions of racing help refine tire compounds, tread patterns, and constructions, which ultimately benefit the company's road-going tires.

  • Motorsport Sponsorships: Yokohama has been a sponsor and official tire supplier for various motorsport events and racing series around the world. This includes partnerships with racing championships like the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, the Asian Le Mans Series, and many others.
  • International Racing: Yokohama has a long history of supplying tires for prestigious racing events. The company's tires have been used in competitions such as the Macau Grand Prix, the Nürburgring 24 Hours, and the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
  • Drifting: Yokohama is known for its strong association with the drifting community. The company sponsors and supplies tires for professional drifters and drift events, including the D1 Grand Prix and Formula Drift.
  • One-Make Racing Series: Yokohama has been involved in organizing and supplying tires for various one-make racing series, where all competitors use identical cars and tires. This includes events like the Yokohama ADVAN Neova Cup and the Yokohama World Time Attack Challenge.

Most Popular Yokohama Tire Models

  • Yokohama AVID Ascend GT: The AVID Ascend GT is known for its all-season performance and long tread life. It offers a comfortable and smooth ride while providing good traction in various weather conditions.
  • Yokohama ADVAN Sport A/S: This high-performance all-season tire is designed for sports cars and luxury vehicles. It offers excellent handling, cornering stability, and wet-weather performance.
  • Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015: The Geolandar A/T G015 is a popular all-terrain tire designed for trucks and SUVs. It provides strong off-road capabilities while maintaining good on-road comfort and performance.
  • Yokohama BluEarth RV-02: This eco-friendly tire is designed for fuel efficiency and low rolling resistance. It is suitable for compact cars and hybrid vehicles.
  • Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R: The Advan Neova AD08R is a high-performance summer tire designed for track enthusiasts and spirited driving. It offers excellent grip and responsiveness.
  • Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c: This winter tire is designed for optimal performance in snow and ice conditions. It provides enhanced traction and control during winter driving.
  • Yokohama YK740 GTX: The YK740 GTX is an all-season touring tire designed for sedans, minivans, and crossover vehicles. It delivers a comfortable ride and good handling characteristics.
  • Yokohama Geolandar X-AT: The Geolandar X-AT is a rugged all-terrain tire designed for trucks and SUVs, offering excellent off-road performance and durability.
  • Yokohama Parada Spec-X: This high-performance tire is designed for SUVs and sports trucks, providing responsive handling and a stylish appearance.
  • Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003: The Geolandar M/T G003 is a mud-terrain tire designed for off-road enthusiasts, offering aggressive traction and durability in extreme conditions.


As you can see, Yokohama's impact on the tire industry can be seen through its continuous pursuit of innovation, commitment to performance and safety, and dedication to environmental stewardship. As the tire industry continues to evolve, Yokohama remains at the forefront, providing drivers with high-quality and technologically advanced tires that deliver exceptional performance and value.