Best Tires

Finding the right tire for your car can be tough, and even tougher to know where it’s coming from. We did the research to help ease that research and decision making process, finding the tire manufacturers who are making the best tires right here in the USA. Below are our findings, along with information on how to know where a tire is from, deeper details on our top picks, and some information on foreign tire makers that have U.S. facilities. Happy hunting!

How to Spot Tires Made in the USA


Luckily, identifying whether a tire is made in the USA or not is relatively easy to spot – designating the place of manufacturing on the tire itself is required! You can identify where a tire is manufactured by looking at the DOT (Department of Transportation) code on the side of the tire. After the letters “DOT”, you’ll see the Tire Identification Number (TIN), which has a few components in it (see the graphic). The first ID number after the letters “DOT” identifies the manufacturing plant that the tire came from. We’ve listed those IDs for the American facilities of various tire manufacturers below so you know how to spot American made tires! If you want to look up any other plant codes, Tire Safety Group has a comprehensive list with all codes listed, so you can check that out.  The rest of the DOT string identifies tire size, manufacturer, and production date.

Our Findings

Overall, there are really just two major American manufacturers who are still producing most of their tires in the USA: Cooper and Goodyear. Underneath them, they have several subsidiary brands that they have acquired over the years (some of which we will cover). There are also a good number of small tire makers that are producing awesome products in specialty markets like off-road and street competitions. We’ll go over all of this and more! Below is a quick look at our top recommendations.

Top Recommendations

Best TiresHeadquarters
Cooper TiresFindlay, OH
Mickey ThompsonStow, OH
Dick CepekStow, OH
Goodyear TireAkron, OH
Dunlop TiresAkron, OH
Nitto TiresCypress, CA
CarlisleScottsdale, AZ

For when you need to change your tire, check out our recommendations on the best jacks made in the USA. Other related reading: best sound deadening materials made in the USA.


The Best American Tire Manufacturers: Going Deeper

Below is a deeper look into the manufacturers that are producing some of the highest quality tires in America. We included a little bit about what types of tires they specialize in, some of our favorite models, and DOT codes so you can spot what American plants their tires are coming from.

Cooper Tires


Cooper Tires was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1914 and continues to make many of their tires across a few different plants in the states. They produce tires for a wide variety of (mostly) passenger vehicles, including a series that they call “Discoverer” for SUVs and pickups that we really like. For other products made in this great state, check out our made in Ohio guide.

DOT codes for Cooper’s American plants:

  • 3D – Albany, Georgia
  • U9 – Tupelo, Mississippi
  • UP – Findlay, Ohio
  • UT – Texarkana, Arkansas

Here are our top picks for our favorite Cooper Tires made in the USA:

 

Mickey Thompson


Mickey Thompson is a subsidiary of Cooper Tires that specializes in high performance tires for street racing and off-road use. They’ve always been about catering their products to automotive enthusiasts, and the quality of their tires and attention to detail really shows it. In particular, we really like their off-road truck tires that they call their “Baja” series.

Here are some of their truck tires that are made in the U.S.:

Dick Cepek


Dick Cepek is another subsidiary of Cooper Tires, also specializing in off-road truck tires. They were founded in 1958 by Dick Cepek himself, a huge off-road enthusiast who came up with the idea to make his own tires when he couldn’t find any reliable ones to perform well in extreme environments. Their approach is simple – they only produce three types of tires, but they make them well and have various sizes and adaptations to each style to fit your car or truck.

Here are the Dick Cepek truck tires that are made in the USA:

Goodyear Tire


Goodyear is an American staple, founded in 1898 by Franklin Springfield. It’s the official tire of NASCAR and one of the most recognizable brand names in tires. They make tires for a huge variety of passenger, commercial, and competition vehicles. Our favorite is their Wrangler TrailRunner All-Terrain Tire. It’s extremely versatile and can get you through a variety of conditions, whether you’re in the city or country.

Here are the DOT codes to identify if your Goodyear tires are made in America:

  • M6 – Lawton, Oklahoma
  • MB – Akron, Ohio
  • MC – Danville, Virginia
  • MD – Gadsden, Alabama
  • MJ – Topeka, Kansas
  • MK – Union City, Tennessee
  • MM, PJ – Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • MN – Freeport, Illinois
  • MP, PL – Tyler, Texas

Nitto Tires


Nitto is a relatively smaller tire brand that is making some amazing tires out of their factory in California. Their engineers are testing everything from road noise reduction to new advancements in polymer tread compounds. They focus primarily on producing high performance tires for trucks to go off-road and racing tires for street competitions. We love a couple of their heavy duty tires in the Grappler series along with some of their high performance street tires in the NT555 and Motivo.

Here are some of our top picks for Nitto tires made in the USA:

Carlisle


Carlisle primarily makes tires for the agriculture, farming, and outdoor communities – and they are very good at it. We are particularly impressed by their trailer tire (link below), which is 100% made in America and offers very good protection and durability.

Carlisle trailer tire:


Recap: Best Tires Made in the USA

  • Cooper Tires – Findlay, OH
  • Mickey Thompson – Stow, OH
  • Dick Cepek – Stow, OH
  • Goodyear Tire – Akron, OH
  • Dunlop Tires – Akron, OH
  • Nitto Tires – Cypress, CA
  • Carlisle – Scottsdale, AZ

Foreign Tire Brands with U.S. Facilities

Michelin

Michelin is a French company that is making tires worldwide, and starting doing so in the U.S. in 1950. They have a particularly big production presence in South Carolina.

Here are their U.S. DOT codes:

  • 4M, M3 – Greenville, South Carolina
  • B6 – Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • B7 – Dothan, Alabama
  • B9 – Lexington, South Carolina

Some of their subsidiaries that they have acquired over the years include companies like: BFGoodrich, Kleber, Kormoran, Riken, Tigar, and Uniroyal.

Continental

Continental hails from Germany and got started all the way back in 1871. They didn’t start exploring in the U.S. until more than 100 years later when they bought General Tire & Rubber Company in 1987. Since then, they have put down some roots in the U.S.

Here are the Continental U.S. DOT codes that you can look for:

  • 6B, A3 – Vernon, Illinois
  • A9 – Bryan, Ohio
  • AC – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • AD – Mayfield, Kentucky
  • VY – South Sumter, South Carolina

Pirelli

Pirelli is a double whammy – they are an Italian manufacturer and are owned by a Chinese company called ChemChina. They have a huge footprint across the globe (facilities in 13 countries) and also maintain a few production facilities in the U.S.

Here are the Pirelli U.S. DOT codes to look for on their tires:

  • CH – Hanford, California
  • CK – Madison, Tennessee
  • JR – Rome, Georgia

Dunlop Tires

Dunlop was founded in England in the late 1800’s and is owned by Goodyear. They primarily focus on selling their tires in North America, Australia/New Zealand, and Europe.

Bridgestone

Bridgestone comes from Japan, the largest tire manufacturer in that country. They produce all kinds of tires, everything from motorcycles to commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. They expanded into the U.S. in the late 1960’s and have invested heavily in production facilities here.

U.S. DOT codes for Bridgestone tires:

  • 0B, W2, Y2 – Wilson, North Carolina
  • 1C, HY – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • 2C, 4D, 5D – Morrison, Tennessee
  • 2M, 3M – Bloomington, Illinois
  • 7X, 8X, 9X – Graniteville, South Carolina
  • 8B, VE, YE, YU – Des Moines, Iowa
  • D2, E3, W1, Y7 – Lavergne, Tennessee
  • YD – Decatur, Illinois

Yokohama

Yokohama is another Japan-based tire manufacturer who is a little less present in the U.S. with only one known manufacturing facility here in Salem, Virginia (DOT code is CC). Similar to Bridgestone, they expanded to America in the late 1960’s.