OSAKA, Japan-Over the next three years, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. will transfer production from its 46-year old Itami plant, its principal truck tire facility, to the newer Kuwana factory of its wholly owned subsidiary, Ryoto Tire Co. Ltd. At the same time, Toyo plans to fully amalgamate Ryoto into its corporate structure to reduce costs and improve quality.
Toyo has budgeted $95 million for the transfer, which will include the expansion of Kuwana as well as the closure of Itami.
Toyo said the 745,000-sq.-ft. Itami plant is too small to be efficient, given Japan's high labor costs, and has no room to expand. Also, some key production equipment there was damaged in the January 1995 earthquake and must be replaced.
Fire strikes Russian tire plant
MOSCOW-A major fire killed a firefighter and destroyed a warehouse and a ``rubber production workshop'' at Moscow Tire Co.'s factory in the city, according to the Interfax news agency.
Police suspect arson as the cause of the blaze, which started on the second floor of the six-story warehouse the night of Feb. 23 and burned throughout the following day, leaving seven people hospitalized due to inhalation of fumes.
Reports indicated up to 10 tons of sulphur, 800 tons of
carbon black and 40 tons of rubber were on site. Raw material losses were estimated at 30 billion roubles ($6 million).
Less than a week after the fire, the plant's Director General Alexander Rassadin said it was ready to resume production.
Pakistan's King's Tyre Ltd. has begun production of radial passenger tires at its lone plant in Lahore. The company, which had been producing about 2,000 bias-ply tires per day, expected to be making about 200 radials daily by April 1, with an eventual increase to 700 radials per day.
Dutch tire maker Vredestein N.V. more than doubled its net income in 1995, to $7.68 million, compared with 1994, on a 10.6-percent increase in sales to $305.2 million. Sales of passenger, farm and industrial tires all rose during the year.