Dunlop is a brand of tyre originally produced by the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company from the end of the 19th century, taking its name from John Boyd Dunlop. The brand is used for many other products made from rubber or with rubber components and some with a looser connection to rubber.
Ownership of the brand has become fragmented over the years. Three main events contributed to this fragmentation:
- in 1899, the Dunlop company sold its Australian branch. As a result, Dunlop Australia acquired the rights to the brand in Australia.
- in 1985, Dunlop Rubber sold the rights to the Dunlop brand of automobile tyre, following several bad business decisions, including a disastrous joint venture with Pirelli where Dunlop unwittingly took responsibility for significant debts.
- between 1996 and 1998, BTR plc (which acquired Dunlop Rubber in 1985) sold a number of companies which used the Dunlop brand for their products.
The Dunlop brand today
Today, the Dunlop brand and logo (sporting and manufacturing) is largely reunified under the ultimate ownership of Mike Ashley (of Sports Direct fame). Many companies producing products bearing the D Device (flying D) have a long historical association and only these may possibly incorporate the word Dunlop in their trading name.
It is amongst other things used for these products:
- Dunlop Tyres and Dunlop Tires:
- owned in Europe and North America by Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe and North America, joint ventures 75% owned by Goodyear and 25% by Sumitomo Rubber Industries (the result of a 1999 deal)
- owned 100% by Goodyear in Australia (the result of deals in 1987 and 2006 with Dunlop Australia)
- owned by Sumitomo in Asia (the result of the acquisition from Dunlop Rubber in 1985)
- owned by Sumitomo in Africa (the result of an acquisition in 2013 from Apollo Tyres of India, which had acquired the brand rights from BTR in 1998)
- owned in India by the Ruia Group (the result of the sale of Dunlop India in 1984 to the Jumbo Group, which sold it on in 2005)
- Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, an independent company in Birmingham, England (sold by BTR in 1996; 75% of the company is currently owned by AAC Capital Partners)
- Dunlop Aerospace, including Dunlop Equipment and Dunlop Precision Rubber, owned by Meggitt plc (the result of a sale by BTR in 1998)
- Dunlop Conveyor Belting, part of Fenner Dunlop Conveyor Belting Worldwide, providing a range of conveyor belt systems
- Dunlop Extrusions, a brand of rubber extrusions owned by an independent company in Manchester, England
- Dunlop Fabrications, a brand of flexible fuel and water tanks owned by Trelleborg AB of Sweden
- Dunlop Hiflex, a brand of hydraulic hoses and pipes
- Dunlop Oil & Marine, a brand of rubber hose for marine use, owned by Continental AG of Germany
- Dunlop Rubber Mouldings, owned by Dunlop Industrial Products, a South African company sold by BTR in 1998
- Dunlop Systems & Components, an independent company borne of a management buyout from Trelleborg AB in 2007, who in turn had purchased the business as part of a suite of companies from BTR Seibe (which subsequently became Invensys - Until recently they owned a substantial historical catalogue of Trademark rights pertaining to use of the Dunlop/D Device in the manufacturing arena). Based in Coventry, England, manufacturing rubber full air struts, airsprings & bellows & air suspension systems and anti-vibration systems.
- Dunlop Adhesives, a brand of tile adhesive and grouting, owned by Ardex GmbH (the result of a sale by BTR in 1996)
- Dunlop Industries of Kenya, who produce PVC floor tiles (sold by BTR in 1996)
- Dunlopillo, a brand of mattress and latex foam for furniture, owned in the UK by Steinhoff International, acquired in 2013 from Hilding Anders, which owns the brand in Scandinavia. Elsewhere it was owned by Dunlop Latex Foam Ltd (sold by BTR in 1997) and now by several companies including the Pikolin group.
- Dunlop Sport, a brand of golf and tennis equipment, sporting footwear and other products
- in Australia and New Zealand owned by Pacific Brands, sold by Pacific Dunlop (formerly Dunlop Australia) in 2001
- in Japan, Taiwan and Korea owned by SRI Sports Limited (a subsidiary of Sumitomo), acquired as part of Dunlop Japan in 1963
- in the United States, owned by DNA (Housemarks) Limited, a joint venture company owned by Sports Direct and SRI USA, Inc (a subsidiary of Sumitomo).
- in the rest of the world rights to the brand are owned by Sports Direct as a result of the acquisition of Dunlop Slazenger from Cinven in 2004.
- Dunlop Protective Footwear, a brand of waterproof footwear and safety boots, owned by the Dutch company Hevea, which acquired the brand in 1996.
In the US and Canada, the rights to the Dunlop brand are now owned by a joint venture company owned by Sports Direct and Sumitomo
- History of Pacific Dunlop
- Goodyear form 10-Q for quarter ended June 30, 1999, p.28
- "Apollo Tyres sells South African business to Sumitomo Rubber for Rs 340 crore". Economic Times. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Report, University of Natal, 2002 p.37
- Hindu Business Online, 31 December 2005
- Dunlop Aircraft Tyres website
- Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems website
- Dunlop Conveyor Belting website
- Dunlop Extrusions website
- Dunlop Fabrications website
- Dunlop Hiflex website
- Dunlop Oil & Marine website
- Dunlop Rubber Mouldings website
- Olympia Capital website
- Steinhoff International brands
- Multi-million pound deal saves 250 jobs at Huntingdon factory Stephen Waite, Hunts Post, 2 April 2013
- Dunlopillo website
- Dunlop Latex Foam website Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Markets and brands Grupo Pikolin.
- Dunlop Sport website
- SRI Sports website
- Sports Direct website
- Hevea website
- Sports Direct prospectus, 2007 p.147