TOKYO (March 17, 2004) —Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has obtained approval from the authority of Chekiang Province, China, to establish a company there in Hangzhou City to make and market sealant for passenger cars.
In the first phase of the program, Yokohama Rubber said it will invest $1.5 million to construct a new production base with an annual production capacity of 1,000 tons by January 2005. The program's second phase calls for production capacity to double within three years, at an investment of $2.2 million.
The new company, Yokohama Hamatite (Hangzhou) Co. Ltd., will build the plant in an adjoining site of Tokyo-based Yokohama Rubber's Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co. Ltd. factory, a joint-venture company established in January 2002. Yokohama said it will pay the new company´s whole capital of $1.3 million.
In the past, Yokohama Rubber has relied on its export from Japan to market passenger car sealant in China. But the company said it has been studying the possibility of local production to meet Chinese automotive demand, which is expected to continue to increase.
The new company will be the fourth sealant production base of Yokohama Rubber in addition to its Hiratsuka Plant in Japan and YH America Inc. and Yokohama Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd. facilities.