LAWTON, Okla. (Jan. 14, 2002)—Goodyear is close to final approval for a $250 million, four- to five-year modernization and expansion of its 24-year-old Lawton passenger tire plant, with an emphasis on flexible capacity for low-profile, large-diameter tires.
A key piece of the puzzle appears to be a March 12 tax referendum by voters in Lawton, a company spokesman said, that would earmark $3 million over five years to activities related to the expansion. Oklahoma state officials are said to be studying incentives, as well.
As planned, the expansion/modernization would focus on new tire building and curing equipment capable of producing tires in rim diameters of 17 inches and larger, the spokesman said. The project also would include an expansion of the 1.84 million sq.-ft. plant to include more warehousing space.
Goodyear is in the process of installing a hot-former tire component calender at Lawton as part of its Impact—Integrated Manufacturing/Precision Assembled/Cellular Technology—system. The Impact investment is designed to enhance precision manufacturing.
Goodyear said the plant revamp would create about 100 new jobs at the 2,300-employee, non-union plant. Plant capacity is listed at 65,000 units a day.