From its roots in Japan to its win at Le Mans, Falken Tires has accomplished a lot in just 35 years. Its history is rich with successful partnerships, innovation, motorsports victories, and top-tier consumer products. But look a bit closer and see that Falken is more than just a tire company. Since day one, it hit the pavement screeching and isn’t looking back. This is the history of Falken Tires.
What’s in a name?
The brand started across the Pacific Ocean in 1983 as Ohtsu Tire & Rubber and specialized in high-performance tires. At this point in history, Japan was fully recovered from the war and producing some of the best consumer technology in the world. Auto manufacturers like Honda and Toyota were making their claim in North America and the rest of the world, and OHTSU built on the Japanese auto industry’s success.
Let the competition begin
As Falken Tires expands into North America and Europe it enters the competitive motorsports landscape and earns its first win at the Mirage International Cup series in 1988. It’s immediately apparent it’s a serious player in the game and a brand that’s here to stay.
The tire that started it all
In the same year it wins the Mirage, Falken introduces the Sincera tire. It’s the consumer product to kickstart a generation of quality rubber and a brand that Falken still produces to this day.
In 1991, after opening its U.S headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Falken enters the Dakar Rally Championships. It’s considered one of the most brutal and enduring off-road/rally series in the game and requires a new kind of tire to get the job done. That same innovation inspired today’s grippy tires like the top-rated Falken Wildpeak, which powers trucks and SUVs through America’s mud, rock, and trails (1).
Reaching Pikes Peak
At this point in 2001, Falken is establishing itself as a brand to watch in every major racing series around the world and that especially includes Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The metaphor of Falken moving up in the world is not lost in this race.