AKRON-Led by Michelin, sales of the world's top tire brands increased across the board in 1994. With worldwide sales of $8.52 billion-an increase of more than $1.25 billion (17.7 percent) over 1993-the Michelin brand, represented by its mascot, Bibendum, surged past Goodyear, which had edged out Michelin as the top-selling brand in 1993.
Sales of the Goodyear brand rose $650 million (9 percent) to $7.9 billion, while those of No. 3 Bridgestone climbed about $700 million (12.1 percent) to $6.5 billion.
Bridgestone Corp. also owns another of the world's top-selling tire brands-Firestone-which, at No. 5, posted the greatest increase in percentage terms in 1994, surging 19.2 percent ($500 million) to $3.1 billion.
The No. 4 brand is Dunlop, produced by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., BTR P.L.C. and other successors to the Dunlop Holdings P.L.C. empire. Dunlop brand sales grew 3.8 percent ($150 million) to $4.1 billion.
The remainder of the Top 10 brands and their sales, in descending order, are:
Brands with global sales estimated in the $800 million-$1 billion range include: Uniroyal, Hankook, Kumho, Cooper, BFGoodrich and Kelly.