HANOVER, Germany (Feb. 19, 2002)—Continental A.G. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. have finalized an agreement to establish a joint venture in Tokyo to coordinate supply of tires to Japanese and Korean car makers and promote sales of Continental-brand tires in the Japanese aftermarket.
The new company, Yokohama Continental Tire Co. Ltd., will market Continental and Yokohama brand passenger car, light truck and truck/bus tires to Japanese car makers and their overseas transplants as well as to Korean auto makers, the two companies said in prepared statements.
The companies also agreed to exchange technology related to promoting their joint activities. The new company will begin operations by the end of March, they said, and will operate from offices in Nagoya, Osaka and Hiroshima, Japan, along with liaison offices in the U.S. and Germany.
Starting in April, Yokohama will become the exclusive importer/distributor of Continental tires in Japan and start distributing Continental—and other Continental-made passenger tire brands, as well as industrial tires—through Yokohama's nationwide sales network. The companies did not disclose sales projections for the new venture.
Parallel to the new joint venture, Yokohama and Continental said they continue to discuss closer ties in tire production and technology in North America, as agreed to in June 2001. The two companies are evaluating improvements in quality, cost and delivery, including unifying product specifications, exchanging production items and cooperating in product distribution.