And the World’s Largest Tire Manufacturer Is… Drumroll Please…

It’s the perfect bar bet. Ask your bar mates what company is the world’s largest tire manufacturer.

Bridgestone? Nope. Guess again.

Michelin? Not even close.

Goodyear? Uhhhhh… No.

You’ll probably never guess, even though this company makes nearly 70% more tires than the number two manufacturer.

And it’s not like it’s a company you’ve never heard of; it is one of the world’s most iconic brands.

Here’s your first hint. It’s not an American company.

That didn’t help?

OK, second hint. Little kids probably know this brand as well as you do.

No, it’s not Disney; get serious.

Final hint. The company is based in Denmark.

Did that last hint give it away?

If you guessed Lego, then you are correct.

Here are some tire facts from Wikipedia:

Lego produced 318 million tires in 2011, making them the world’s largest tire manufacturer by number of units produced.

Here’s a chart that shows the top tire manufacturers, with Lego comfortably in first place:

Company Tires produced (2011)
Lego* 318 million
Bridgestone 190 million
Michelin 184 million
Goodyear 181 million

Here are some more fun facts about Lego:

  • The name ‘LEGO’ is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.
  • The LEGO Wheel was launched in 1962 after being worked on since 1958.
  • In 1999, the LEGO brick was named as one of the “Products of the Century” by Fortune Magazine.
  • The British Association of Toy Retailers named the LEGO brick “Toy of the Century” in 2000.
  • In February 2015, Lego replaced Ferrari as Brand Finance’s “world’s most powerful brand”.
  • Six bricks of 2 × 4 studs can be combined in 915,103,765 ways. (no wonder kids never get bored playing with Legos).
  • Lego bricks from 1958 still interlock with those made in the current time (software companies could learn a thing or two here).
  • Annual production of Lego bricks averages approximately 36 billion, or about 1140 elements per second. (In a normally growing economy, the U.S. brick industry manufactures approximately 9 billion “standard brick equivalents” per year.)
  • Only eighteen bricks out of every million fail to meet the standard required. Talk about quality control.

So not only is it the world’s largest tire manufacturer, it also makes the world’s greatest toy.

I hope you won that bar bet.

*update, from Lego’s Instagram page – apparently Lego is up to 700,000,000 tires per year. thank you to WordPress users Alex and ömer

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