To commemorate its 100th anniversary in 2014, Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co. conducted an anniversary celebration in Chicago this past weekend for employees and business partners. The company was started in 1914 by Harry Hower, a chauffeur who invented the whitewall tire with a patented gold stripe design.
“Vogue has always appealed to people who want the best,” said Greg Hathcock, president.
“They want the best cars and they want the best tires, the best wheels. They want their car to be different from everybody else. They want to be unique leaders in terms of fashion and style. Vogue tires have always been for that niche of people who want to be different.”
Hathcock told the group of more than 100 employees and business partners that only 6/10th of 1% of companies make it to 100 years.
A special guest at the event was longtime Vogue board member Doug Dodson, grandson of Lloyd Dodson, who purchased West Coast distribution rights to Vogue Tyres from Hower in 1927.
“My grandfather was born in 1901 and when he was 25 years old he borrowed $3,000 to get into the tire business with a partner who he bought out two years later,” said Dodson.
“Before you know it, he was selling more Vogue tires in LA than they were in Chicago. He had no formal education; didn’t even graduate from high school. But by his sheer intelligence, humbleness, friendliness and the ability to see the future, he swung through the depression and the 1942 hit. When everyone else was scared of the war he could see the future and that when the war was over there would be a huge market for tires. He was able to buy the company and it started growing by leaps and bounds.”
That growth continues today and the Vogue executives in attendance expressed confidence in the future.
“In our industry there is more fluidity in terms of companies going in and out of business,” said Hathcock.
“The biggest reason why we’re here is because this is not just our 100th anniversary; this is the beginning of our second 100 years. All the things we’re doing, the products and programs, new people and new ideas will all contribute to a strong and successful future for Vogue Tyre.”
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.