Many people think that Primewell tires are Firestone tires in everything but name. Nothing can be more distant from the truth. Sure, Primewell does operate under the Firestone (Bridgestone) umbrella in the US. But it is actually the brand of Giti Tires, an international tire giant.
So, while the backing of giants like Bridgestone has paved the way for Primewell in the US market, the latter has made its place in other national markets on its own. Had that not been the case, Giti Tires wouldn’t have become the 11th largest tire producer in the world.
Does that mean there are differences between Primewell and Firestone tires? That is precisely the question whose answer we aim to find out. In this Primewell Vs Firestone comparison, we’ll outline every minor thing that distinguishes these brands from each other.
That is not all. We’ll also discuss the histories of both these brands to establish the fact that they are entirely different. Aside from that, we’ll compare the performance, size availability, price, and warranty of Primewell and Firestone tires. Read on to learn more.
Primewell Tires History
Primewell tires are manufactured by Giti Tires, a Singaporean tire brand that was founded in 1951. Just like many other tire brands, Giti began its journey not by making car tires. Instead, it was only after Giti had achieved success with bicycle tires that the company turned to the automobile market.
Starting from the second decade of its existence, Giti began experimenting with tires for passenger cars and light trucks. Primewell tires came into being as a result of this experiment. However, for the first few years of their development, Primewell tires weren’t produced on a mass scale.
That changed in 1993, the year Giti signed a joint venture with the Anhui Tire Factory and opened its first manufacturing unit in mainland China. The venture proved to be so successful that Giti became the 11th largest tire maker, beating the likes of established brands such as Hankook.
It was during the late 1990s and early 2000s that Firestone (Bridgestone) tires co-opted Primewell Tires in the US. This kicked off a journey that has seen Primewell become one of the first-choice for budget-minded users, both for passenger cars as well as light trucks.
Primewell Tire Families
Primewell categorizes its tires into five categories or lineups. These include all-season, economy/touring, highway tires, ultra-high-performance all-season, and all-terrain tires. Let’s discuss all the Primewell tire families in more detail.
While almost all Primewell tires are light on the pocket, its all-season models are especially budget-friendly. You can guess how cheap these tires are from the fact that an entire set of Primewell’s all-season tires costs less than one all-season tire from Continental or Michelin.
There are two tires in Primewell’s all-season lineup, the PS830/850. This product features four circumferential grooves to resist hydroplaning. An all-season tread design and circumferential center rib minimizes unnecessary wear and tear. Plus, a variable tread depth promotes a quiet ride.
Highway terrain tires borrow various features from your standard passenger car tire. They are designed primarily for driving on sealed roads. Their all-season tread compound and symmetric tread pattern help H/T tires provide a quiet and comfortable drive.
Which is precisely what you get from the Valeria H/T and Valeria H/T LTR. Both of them have many features in common – the duo has an all-season tread design, feature the new Primewell tread compound and come with superior ribs. The only difference is that the Valeria H/T LTR is for light trucks.
Who says that only premium brands can churn out UHP tires? Models like the Primewell Valera Sport AS are proof that you don’t always have to break the bank to afford a sporty tire. A remarkable 40,000 mile limited warranty is another way this tire puts its pricier alternatives to shame.
Like a true UHP tire, the Valera Sport AS comes with large shoulder blocks. These help the tire offer enhanced high-speed handling, exceptional cornering performance and exquisite straight-line tracking. An all-season silica tread compound increases the tire’s grip in dry and wet conditions.
The Valera A/T completes Primewell’s all-terrain lineup. Similar to other Primewell tires, this model is budget-friendly when compared with other tires in its class. Its 50,000 mile treadwear further distinguishes the Valera A/T from premium all-terrain models.
Does that mean the Valera A/T can dethrone industry giants such as BFGoodrich A/T3 or Toyo Open Country A/T III? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. In fact, this model’s higher-than-average noise and relatively poor handling means it’s nowhere near the best A/T tires.
Mass Market Tires
Primewell Mass Market tires are actually touring tires in everything but name. Take the PS890, the only model in this family. Apart from saying in the name that it is a touring tire, the PS890 has large shoulder blocks, symmetric grooves and wide channels, features which are only found in touring tires.
Having resolved the confusion about its name, it seems pertinent to highlight the defining features of the PS890. This all-season touring tire is available at a budget-friendly price and comes with free tire mounting, alignment check and lifetime tire rotation services. What more can you ask for!
Firestone Tires History
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1902. Two years earlier, a little-known businessman Harvey Firestone had set about manufacturing tires in the same location. However, it was only after the demand for tires exploded that the company got its current name.
Firestone has enjoyed many firsts over its 122-year long history. The company was the first-ever to patent the idea of and produce anti-skid tires on a large scale. This invention proved to be a boon for the automobile industry, which was in its nascent stages at that time.
Fast forward to 1922, and Firestone came up with the idea of low-pressure balloon-tires. This invention changed the future trajectory of the automobile industry. As prior this pneumatic tires, which suffered from inordinate wear and tear, were the norm for vehicles.
Not only did Firestone’s low-pressure balloon tires not suffer extraordinary wear. These tires also demonstrated a long road-life, convincing drivers who were using pneumatic tires to make the switch. In 1988, Bridgestone acquired Firestone and became its parent company.
Firestone Tires Families
Firestone divides its tires into six categories. These include Destination, WeatherGrip, Firehawk, Transforce, All-Season and Winter Force. Let’s discuss them in detail.
The Firestone Destination lineup is pretty special in that it meets the demands of nearly every type of driver. Whether you own a family-size sedan, drive an SUV, or ride a truck for living, there’s an excellent chance that a Firestone Destination tire will fit your vehicle.
Those of you who spend most of your time on the highway would do well to look at what the Destination LE3 has to offer. However, if you don’t leave any chance to go off-roading, the Destination A/T2, M/T2 and X/T have more than enough attributes to be a reliable companion.
There is only one tire in the Firestone All-Season family. That should explain why Firestone has named the tire All-Season, the same term we use to describe this lineup. This tire comes with a road-friendly tread compound that makes it useful in summer and mild wintry conditions.
A symmetric tread pattern improves this model’s traction in wet and slippery conditions. And circumferential grooves evacuate water to resist hydroplaning. However, at a time when warranties on all-season tires are going through the roof, a 65K mileage backing feels underwhelming.
On the surface, not many things are common between the Firestone All-Season and WeatherGrip lineup. One is meant to improve stability and grip in dry and mild wintry conditions. The other has been designed to safely carry you from point A to point B through a snow storm.
Yet, just like the All-Season family has only one member, a single tire also completes the WeatherGrip lineup. The Firestone WeatherGrip has all the features you’d expect from a dedicated winter tires. However, its 65,000 mile treadlife warranty exceeded our expectations.
Both the members of the Firehawk series spit fire on the road. The Firehawk AS might have an all-season tread compound, an underwhelming sign for a tire that claims to offer high performance. Yet, drive this tire, and you won’t be able to tell whether you’re on an all-season or UHP tire.
That is also the case with the Firehawk Indy 500, one of the best tires for street and track. While we have conducted a detailed review of this tire for anyone who wants to go in-depth, here’s a summary for those on a hurry: if you’re on a tight budget, there aren’t many better UHP tires out there.
Firestone’s WinterForce tires offer everything to justify their family name. Innumerable sipes on the tread area, flexible tread compounds, and multiple circumferential and lateral grooves – these are some of the features that make WinterForce tires highly capable in dealing with harsh wintry conditions.
Of the four members that this family is made of, all but the WinterForce 2UV are meant for everyday driving on the snow. However, the tire we’ve referred to is a winter performance tire, meaning you can put these tires on before driving in snow, ice, slush and freezing rain.
The Firestone Transforce tires aren’t your standard tires. Mainly because your standard set of tires cannot withstand as much load as these. Every member of this family – AT2, HT2, and CV – have the sturdy construction and chip-resistant compounds for conquering tough driving conditions.
As you might guess, not all three tires are designed to fit the same vehicle. The HT2 is built for passenger cars, crossovers and SUVs, while the CV tire can be fitted on Euro Commercial Vans.
Primewell Vs Firestone Tires: Differences
Here are the major differences between Primewell and Firestone tires:
For high-performance driving, Firestone tires are a better bet.
Mainly because Primewell lacks gems like the Indy Sport 500. Here is a high-performance tire that you can see in the street, on the track, and for high-speed driving. This tire’s exceptional high-speed handling and steering response catapults Firestone above Primewell in the performance department.
Availability of Options
Primewell is a cheap tire and cheap tires aren’t available in many sizes.
Firestone tires, though not premium by any stretch of the imagination, aren’t inexpensive either. Probably that explains why these tires are available in all the major sizes. All in all, whether you own a passenger car or a light truck, there is most likely a Firestone tire that will fit your vehicle.
Price and Warranty
Pricing is one area where Firestone tires cannot compete with their Primewell counterparts.
That is probably due to the fact that Firestone tires are made in the US whereas Primewell tires are manufactured in China. The difference in manufacturing costs allows Primewell to undercut all of its competitors, including Firestone, its parent brand in the US.
Surprisingly for a brand whose tires cost dirt cheap, Primewell backs its models with generous warranties. Even its all-terrain and UHP tires – two categories whose tires aren’t usually backed by tire manufacturers – are warrantied for 65,000- and 40,000-miles, respectively.
Advantages of Primewell
- Produces budget-friendly tires
- Backs its tires with generous warranties
- Offers a lot of models for everyday driving
Advantages of Firestone
- Produces better performance tires
- Offers tires for almost every condition
- Provides models in almost all the main sizes
Primewell Vs Firestone Tires: Which Brand to Choose?
Primewell tires might be a better bet if you’re on a budget. Frankly speaking, that is the only reason why we could see anyone preferring them over Firestone tires. That is because Firestone offers tires in almost every category, provides generous warranties, and still manages to keep prices low.