Goodyear timeline: The highs and lows of tyre-making from 1898 to 2017

From opening in Ohio in 1898 to heading across the Atlantic in 1927 to the dawn of downsizing at the end of the 20th century. It's been up and down for Goodyear and Wolverhampton.

Goodyear timeline: The highs and lows of tyre-making from 1898 to 2017

1898 - Goodyear was founded in Akron, Ohio, USA by Frank A Seibeding and developed steadily, building up its tyre-making reputation in the USA and Canada.

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1913 - Plans were announced to open a branch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as part of the company's international expansion.

July 1927 - The site in Wolverhampton was bought by the firm and the first tyres were manufactured in December that year.

June 1929 - Just 18 months after it opened, it had made its one millionth tyre in Wolverhampton. The British edition of the Wingfoot Clan, the company's newsletter, said that this was regarded by senior officials as a 'milestone on the Goodyear Road of Progress'.

On the production line at the Goodyear factory

1939 - The company switched to war production. Factory employees worked 20 days on and just one day off. Its aircraft tyres were five feet tall, two feet wide and weighed 355 pounds.

1986 - The town was shocked by the news that 90 shopfloor jobs would go at Goodyear. This was on top of 40 already announced. The Ohio-based company had fought off a £3.7 billion takeover bid. But it had required them to shell out to purchase 11.5 per cent worth of shares held by Sir James Goldsmith's group of investors. Next came the closure of a subsidiary company, Howdins, with a base in Sutton Coldfield.

December 1997 - The factory shifted from five shifts to four. Around 550 people were axed.

2000 - Staff numbers at Goodyear in Wolverhampton were down to 2,500. The company then decided to put its workforce on short time.

January 2002 - The decline gathered pace when around 470 tyre workers were told their jobs could not be saved.

February 2003 - Bosses told union members that Goodyear would stay in Wolverhampton for the 'foreseeable future'. And in August, loan company Promise Finance moved on to the Goodyear site raising the prospect of a jobs boost. The company, however, fell victim to the credit crunch. A deal was done to spend £150 million on safeguarding the now scaled down operation at Goodyear.

2007 - Demolition work started at the site, with the idea for hundreds of homes shops and a pub to be built on land the firm was no longer using.

June 2008 - Thousands gathered to witness the end of an era as the iconic blue and yellow Goodyear chimney was pulled down.

2012 - Goodyear joined forces with fellow Midlands tyre maker Dunlop and was investing £6 million in the site, now a mixing and retreading centre. It was even taking on apprentices.

June 2015 - Goodyear announced that it would close its premises in the city and would be commencing redundancies.

December 31 2015 - The first batch of staff who were made redundant left the plant.

Early November 2016 - A plaque commemorating the lives of Goodyear staff who died during the Second World War was relocated to the Civic Centre, in Wolverhampton.

Late November 2016 - Goodyear workers donated £1 million to Compton Hospice for their community co-ordination hub. The workers used their 5/344 Transport and General Workers Sick and Distress Fund to pay for the forthcoming development of the Wolverhampton-based hospice charity.

December 2016 - It was revealed that none of the workers made redundant from the firm took up the company's offer to work in Mexico. Goodyear workers then donate a staggering £500 worth of food to the Express & Star's Feed a Family This Christmas appeal ahead of the closure on December 20. The close down period will be complete by June 2017 ending the firm's almost 90-year history in the city.

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