When it comes to car parts, tires are one of the most important components. Tires are the only thing keeping you connected to the road and pointed in the right direction. But for such an important component, which tire should you pick?
Once you pick the kind of tire you need, you have to decide which brand of tire you want to go with. In this regard, Bridgestone is always a solid choice. They are the world’s biggest tire manufacturer and bring Japanese quality and ethics to the table. But if you want to go Japanese, why not try the smaller Yokohama?
In order to determine which company will suit you the most, we need to take an in-depth look at both. First, we’ll dive into each company’s history and achievements. After that, we’ll take a look at which tire lines each company offers. Lastly, we will compare their differences and identify their advantages.
What's In This Guide?
History of Yokohama
The Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited was founded in 1917 on the 13th of October. The Japanese company began as a joint venture between Yokohama Cable Manufacturing and B.F. Goodrich. By 1969 the company had expanded into the United States and their success is largely thanks to the Aspec A300 tire.
Additionally, Yokohama has had a lot of success with its ADVAN tire line. This line became so popular that the company would often use it as branding, instead of “Yokohama.” Though not one of the top five biggest tire manufacturers, Yokohama has over 100 years of experience and is currently the 8th largest tire manufacturer, so you know they can be trusted.
History of Bridgestone
Founded in 1931, Bridgestone has managed to grow and expanded far more than Yokohama. Bridgestone was named after the founder; Shojiro Ishibashi (Ishi = Stone, Bashi = Bridge), in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan.
During World War Two the company headquarters was destroyed by allied bombers, however, the factories were untouched, allowing the company to quickly restart production once the war was over. The company’s success can be accredited to three main aspects.
First, the company focused on technological innovations to get ahead of competitors. In 1967 the company was selling their own radial tires which they developed in their Tokyo plant’s new Technical Centre.
Another great stride forward was an adoption of a different company culture which vastly improved quality control. You may know of this as the Deming plan, named after W. Edwards Deming. A plan which is taught in many business classes today.
Finally, starting in 1965, Bridgestone undertook a massive overseas expansion campaign which is what makes them such a powerful company today. Their first expansion was a new factory in Singapore, and now part of their expansion process involves buying competitors like Firestone.
Bridgestone also had its stint in Formula One. Some even credit Bridgestone as the usurper to the Goodyear crown in Formula One. Though they were not in the sport long enough to take all the titles from Goodyear, Bridgestone still proved formidable, being the main tire supplier for Scuderia Ferrari and Michael Schumacher.
Today Bridgestone has taken all they have learned through their many years of experience to give you the best high-performance tire you can get. Through their achievements, Bridgestone is the biggest tire supplier in the world with around 143,616 employees as of 2017.
Yokohama Tire Families
Yokohama offers a wide range of tires that are meant to meet any of your tire needs. However, customers lean towards their performance and all-season models.
The ADVAN is Yokohama’s flagship tire. It is a performance tire that provides “adrenaline-pumping performance to deliver race-ready handling for all driving styles and conditions” (Yokohama). There are several different ADVAN tires that all provide you with something else.
The ADVAN tires differ in which conditions they are meant to be used in; summer, all-season, and winter. Additionally, they have different attributes such as fuel efficiency, quiet ride, maximum grip, and different handling performance.
The one thing all the ADVAN tires have in common is that they are all built for performance cars.
The AVID family consists of four tires which are all built as long-lasting performance, comfortable, and efficient all-season tires. They all advertise a quiet ride with different levels of wet condition traction.
They also differ in their winter weather handling so make sure you pick the right tire for your area if you want these. The AVID is built for just about every type of vehicle, apart from trucks.
Yokohama’s largest tire family with seven different tires. They are designed to go on-road, off-road, and no-road. The featured GEOLANDAR X-AT is advertised as the new standard for extreme all-terrain use.
The rubber compound provides reliability, durability, and impressive cut and chip resistance. Because there are so many GEOLANDAR tires, there are many differences between them. The one thing they all have in common is an advertised long tread life, although the warranties differ from tire to tire.
GEOLANDAR tires are built primarily for trucks, SUVs, and Crossovers, however, the GEOLANDAR CV® G058 can be fitted to minivans as well.
Yokohama iceGUARD tires are designed for hot off-road desert crossings. Just kidding, there are Yokohama’s winter tires. All four iceGUARD tires are classed as winter tires and have superior or excellent winter weather traction. These tires are designed for any vehicle except for performance vehicles.
Currently, there is only one PARADA tire. It was designed for the North American market and sports an aggressive style and performance aimed at mode day SUV’s and Crossovers. Yokohama plans to release more models for trucks and cars.
At the moment the tire is designed to provide a quiet ride throughout the year. Its directional tread provides it with a long tread life and competitive wet weather handling, along with superior dry weather handling.
Finally, we have the BluEarth family. These tires are made with fuel-saving construction that creates exceptional winter traction and, at the same time, minimizes their impact on the environment. There are three models in this line which target performance cars, SUVs, and Crossovers.
All three tires are classed as winter tires and have an excellent winter traction rating. The BLUEARTH WINTER V905 will give you the best fuel saving out of the lot.
Bridgestone Tire Families
Bridgestone offers tires of extremely high quality no matter the application. They are well known for their performance, run-flat, and winter tires as they are some of the best in the world. Additionally, they make a wide variety of passenger and truck tires to be sure to meet specific needs.
The Potenza is built for sports cars and performance vehicles. They are designed to deliver maximum grip, perform well in extreme cornering due to advanced shoulder stiffness, have responsive steering, and have an optimized contact footprint to distribute pressure evenly.
There are six different Potenzas to choose from, all with slightly different attributes. Picking the right one depends on the situation you are in.
This tire is Bridgestone’s premium highway and all-season tire. It is designed to be fitted on luxury SUVs, CUVs, and trucks. The Alenza delivers an excellent balance between dry, wet, and winter conditions, coupled with wear performance and comfort.
There is only one tire in the Alenza line, however, there only needs to be one. The Alenza provides a quiet and comfortable ride with a long tread life. Bridgestone put so much confidence behind the long tread life they have given this tire an 80,000-mileage warranty.
The Turanza is similar to the Alenza but targeted at passenger vehicles and more on the touring side of things. The tire does offer the same qualities though as it is an all-season tire designed to deliver a smooth and quiet ride. Just like the Alenza, the Turanza has an 80,000-mileage warranty.
The Dueler is Bridgestone’s off-roading tire. It is made to be used all-season round and lasts for many miles. Bridgestone advertises all seven of their Dueler tires as being versatile, with responsive handling, ultimate traction, and armed with technologies that deliver durability and a good tread life.
The impressive Driveguard is Bridgestone’s run-flat tire. Though there is only one tire in this group, it is sold in many different sizes. Not only does the tire sport Bridgestone’s run-flat technology that allows you to drive up to 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph after a puncture, but it is also a comfortable ride in both wet and dry conditions.
Ecopia is Bridgestone’s eco tire. It is designed to have minimal roll resistance in order to save fuel. There are two Ecopia’s, the ECOPIA H/L 422 PLUS and the ECOPIA EP422 PLUS. They are both designed to give you a quiet and comfortable ride while saving fuel. The former is designed for SUV’s, CUV’s, and minivans, while the latter is built for sedans and minivans.
Blizzak tires are Bridgestone’s winter tires and are credited for singlehandedly eliminating the need for studded tires in Japan over one season. Most Blizzak tires are advertised as being quiet and comfortable as well as fully winter-ready, be it ice or snow.
Differences between Yokohama and Bridgestone
Other than the size of the companies, quality is a major difference. Bridgestone has some of the most extreme quality assurance checks in the industry to ensure that their tires are of the best quality. But other than company culture and quality or product, lest look at how they perform, if they are worth it, and what kind of warranties can you expect from each company.
Performance is key, it trumps anything else. Doesn’t matter if the tire is cheap and looks good if it doesn’t perform as you need it. In this category, Bridgestone is the winner. Not only do they hold their tires to a higher standard, but they are also constantly pushing the boundaries to improve their performance.
Yokohama isn’t bad, especially when it comes to performance tires, but Bridgestone has found the sweet spot with their variety. The Potenza and Dueler lines have many choices to meet your exact needs whereas the Alenza and Driveguard is so perfected that you don’t need any other choice.
Price-wise Yokohama technically wins. They are cheaper than Bridgestone but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are more valuable. Bridgestone tires will last longer and give you a better bang for your buck.
Warranties are a good way to determine how long a tire company thinks its tire will safely last. The longer the warranty period the more confidence the company has in its tires.
The two companies are very closely matched when it comes to warranties. They both have warranties on some tires which are substantial when compared to other companies. However, Bridgestone is most consistent with its tire warranties.
If you buy an AVID or GEOLANDAR tire from Yokohama expect to get a longer-lasting warranty. From Bridgestone, you can get a long-lasting Warranty for most of their tires.
Advantages of Yokohama
- Good performance tires at a cheaper price
- Decent warranties for passenger vehicles
Advantages of Bridgestone
- Better performance
- Excellent winter tires
- Some of the best warranties in the industry
Which Brand to choose?
The answer here is up to you. Both tire brands have been in the industry for a long time and can be trusted. Bridgestone is mostly better, but they come with a larger price tag. If you want some good performance tires with a smaller price tag Yokohama is a good bet.
The information here should steer you in the right direction so that you can pick the best tire for your needs.