TOKYO (March 24, 2003) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. will build a passenger tire facility at the Shinshiro Minami plant to manufacture high-performance tires larger than 18 inches for passenger cars and sport-utility vehicles.
The expansion is part of Yokohama's Grand Design (GD-10), a long-term initiative announced in November to reinforce the tire maker's high-performance passenger car tires business.
Construction is expected to start this spring and be complete by 2005. The facility will feature a mill that will integrate mixing, forming, building and vulcanizing, Yokohama said.
To capture the increasing demand for the high-performance tires, Yokohama said the facility will have an initial production capacity of 300,000 units annually. Yokohama expects that to rise to 750,000 units eventually. The cost of the new facility is estimated at $41 million.
On April 4, Yokohama also said it will conclude a contract with the Public Enterprises Agency of the Aichi Prefectural Government to buy a 31,600-square-meter property next to the Minami plant to expand that plant's capacity. The additional land, which will cost about $6.2 million, will expand the Shinshiro Minami plant property from 56,700 square meters to 88,300 square meters, Yokohama said.