KOBE, Japan (Sept. 21, 2012) — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. will build a $500 million car and light truck tire plant in Turkey over the coming three years with joint venture partner Abdulkadir Özcan Otomotiv Lastik, the parent of Turkish tire maker Petlas Tyre Industry & Trade Co. and the importer/distributor of Toyo-, Hankook- and Maxxis-brand tires.
Sumitomo said the company, yet to be named, will serve as a strategic base for both production and sales of tires bound for the Middle East, North Africa and Russia, where the Kobe-based tire maker anticipates continued market growth, as well as for markets in Europe.
Sumitomo said supplying tires from Turkey to these targeted markets will enable it to benefit in terms of lead times and transportation costs as well as put it in an advantageous position to serve Japanese-owned vehicle makers that have assembly operations in Turkey.
Sumitomo did not divulge the joint venture's expected annual sales. The new company will start operatins in October in Cankiri, Turkey, with production at the plant expected on stream by July 2015. Çankiri is a city and province in north-central Turkey, close to Ankara.
The plant will have a daily capacity of 30,000 tires by year-end 2019, with approximately 2,000 employees.
Abdulkadir Özcan Automotive Tyre Industry & Trade Co. was established in Ankara in 1970 by the Özcan family, according to the firm's web site.
Besides being active in tires, the company claims to be the market leader in other products that are being used in automotive sector such as batteries, chains and rims. It reports annual sales of $444 million.