KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. has phased out production of aircraft tires in Japan and France and sold most of the related manufacturing assets to Malaysia's Sime Aircraft Tyre Co. Sdn. Bhd., which plans to expand capacity and add radial capability. Sumitomo decided to exit the aircraft tire business last year, after the massive January earthquake in Kobe, Japan, rendered its plant there unusable, a spokesman said.
No monetary amount was given for the purchase, which included manufacturing machinery, a high-speed test wheel, a shearography unit and other equipment necessary for testing and certification of aircraft tires.
Sime Aircraft Tyre, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Bhd.'s DMIB Bhd. operation, plans to add the Sumitomo assets to its plant in Kuala Lumpur's Petaling Jaya industrial district.
The firm intends to have radial capacity operating by the second half of 1997, and would then be one of only four companies worldwide with manufacturing capacity for radial aircraft tires.
Sime Aircraft already is a certified supplier of new and retreaded tires to local airlines in southeast Asia and South Africa.