Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. broke ground Oct. 19 for its $150 million U.S. passenger tire plant near Cartersville, Ga., putting the project on schedule for production start-up by January 2006.
The 1.03 million-sq.-ft. facility, on a 150-acre site in rural Bartow County northwest of Atlanta, will have an initial annual production capacity of 2 million passenger and light truck/sport-utility vehicle tires. Toyo Tire North America Inc. (TNA), a newly created subsidiary, will own and operate the plant, which will employ 350 and use a new, modular automated tire production system designed for multi-product, small-lot production.
Toyo eventually could invest another $250 million in the factory and create 550 more jobs in two phases, depending on demand and other market conditions, according to Shozo Kibata, president of Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp. and TNA.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Mr. Kibata said Toyo is ``committed to working together with Georgians to create better jobs for the work force and to strengthen the economic performance of its communities through programs that benefit families and their futures.''
Toyo also has donated $10,000 to the Bartow County Board of Education to help support tutorial programs for Bartow County high school students.
The tutoring funds will focus on assisting students with SAT preparation and other academic needs in order to provide Bartow County youth with a greater chance to participate in higher learning, Toyo said.