TOKYO (April 9, 2002)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has taken over majority ownership of its Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co. Ltd. joint venture in Hangzhou, China, in advance of ground-breaking for the venture's radial tire plant, scheduled for April 22.
Yokohama increased its stake to 80 percent from 45 percent, taking over four-fifths of Hangzhou Rubber (Group) Co.'s 50 percent share for approximately $4.8 million. YHI Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Yokohama sales subsidiary in Singapore, holds the remaining 10 percent and will oversee Yokohama's sales efforts in China, Yokohama said.
The new plant should begin production of radial passenger car tires by May 2003, with initial annual capacity of 750,000 units; a second phase will double the capacity by 2006. Yokohama has budgeted $30 million for each construction phase.
The company will employ a “small-lot production system” developed by Yokohama; employment during the first phase will be 300.