TOKYO (Nov. 19, 2004) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is going ahead with a previously announced expansion at its still-under-construction tire plant near Bangkok, Thailand, agreeing to buy the land necessary to facilitate a doubling of planned capacity.
Yokohama said it has secured a 2.08 million-sq.-ft. plot of land adjacent to the 2.41 million-sq.-ft. plot where the new truck and bus tire plant is under construction. Yokohama did not disclose the cost of acquiring the land nor the projected cost of doubling the size of the factory. It put the cost of building the first phase at $50 million.
The combined plots represent the company's largest factory site, Yokohama said.
Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. expects to start production of truck tires by April 2005. The YRC subsidiary, created in December 2003, will have an annual capacity of 350,000 units in the first phase, and this will double to 700,000 units by 2007.
Yokohama said it chose Thailand because it provides high quality labor, tax incentives for investment by a foreign company and better infrastructures.
This project will “further strengthen the company's global production capability…to respond to the increasingly strong tire demand around the world…,” the company said, and complements capacity expansions under way at plants in Japan, The Philippines and China.