Firestone Fibers and Textiles Company in Kings Mountain, N.C., is a subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, and the world's largest manufacturer of tires and other rubber products. Tires account for 80 percent of Bridgestone Group sales worldwide. The company also manufactures industrial rubber and chemical products, sporting goods, and other diversified products. It sells its tires and other products in more than 150 nations. Bridgestone Tire was founded in 1931 to manufacture and distribute tires in the Japanese market. The company had global aspirations and has recently acquired Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. Bridgestone Group companies manufacture tires and other products at more than 100 plants in more than 24 nations. Those plants ensure reliable supplies of products for people in more than 150 countries. The company markets its tires through extensive networks of stores that have strong roots in their locales. At the heart of its sales networks are company-owned stores, including nearly 2,300 in North America and more than 700 in Japan. Complementing those outlets are tens of thousands of independent retailers who market Bridgestone tires around the world. Retailers who handle its products also provide a full range of service and maintenance.