I’ll have to admit, there are a lot of reasonable answers online about Bridgestone vs. Continental tires.
I used to change tires all the time 4 years ago. Now I service deeper into the car and younger or less able techs spend more time with the tires than I do, but these were my observations when I used to change as much as 30 sets of tires in a month at a store that served many more.
At least for the Continentals which I saw, I was pretty unimpressed. Cars with 20–26k miles on them often had Continental tires which were already dry rotting. I checked the DOT dates regularly trying to see who did a better job. Continentals on those cars were often dry rotting at a year. Not to failure, but Bridgestones generally wouldn’t do that for as much as 3 times as long.
While of course there are different levels of tires, and possibly these newer cars had manufacturers saving money by not putting on the best… but that doesn’t quite add up.
Sure car makers often put summer tires on new cars to make them stickier and feel more like performance. I expect those tires to not last long, but inherently sportier tires may not be designed to last as long, but they sure shouldn’t dry rot that quickly.
Bridgestone also makes Firestone and Firestone is often less expensive while still being of quite good quality.
Based on the employee discount for a anvelope Bridgestone tire versus a Firestone tire, clearly there is a much higher profit margin on them. There’s of course more value in the Firestone and you pay a lot more to get generally a little more out of the Bridgestone, but that’s always how it is if you try to by the “best” versus good. As quality goes up, price goes up a lot faster than quality. It costs more and more to make something only a little bit better.
I’m not sure what you’re kind of car or truck, or even motorcycle, that you’re looking to put tires on, but the Firestone FR710’s are just amazing. And they aren’t the most expensive. I had a modified car which spun the tires easily if it rained, but FR710’s immediately ended that. Also be aware that the Affinity line, which I heard may have been discontinued a couple years ago is actually the same technology of rubber, etc. as the FR710, it just comes out of a different mold for a different tread pattern.
I’ve met a lot of employees which work in both plants. They are both proudly made in the U.S.A., but what I can tell to be very fine people who care a great deal about making the best they can.
I believe both brands sell off-brands which have different labels for the economy tire made out of China. These tires, other than going on cars, are in a completely different world. When you’re lucky you can be happy with them, and you won’t have to by lucky for someone reason tires for light to medium duty trucks for their off brand tires. Something better about the economy line for heavier applications or small flaws which could have an effect on a smaller vehicle would never be noticed on a larger vehicle.
Example: seems wrong to me, but most BMW and Mercedes owners seemed to go for the off brand tires and they were happy, but I hope they weren’t pushing these cars to their amazing limits with cheap tires. And this is another example of heavier cars not being as telling by the ride…but boy could I tell the difference on a test drive.