Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. management is targeting 8-percent annual sales growth and a double-digit improvement in profitability for the coming three years as the firm looks long-term to its centennial in 2017.
Under the umbrella ``Grand Design 100'' strategic plan, Yokohama management projects the company will more than double in size by 2017 to nearly $9 billion in annual sales and achieve an operating return on sales of 10 percent-double that of fiscal 2006.
For the near term, Yokohama management envisions growth of nearly 8 percent a year through 2009 to about $5 billion, with the tire business outgrowing its multiple business activities nearly three to one. This would raise the tire division's share of Yokohama's sales about three percentage points to 77 percent.
To achieve such growth, Yokohama management said it foresees a strategy of emphasizing higher value-added products, developing and/or adopting new materials, developing new production processes and compact production platforms and expanding production capacity in Asia, especially in China.
Yokohama is targeting annual capacity of 56.6 million tires by 2009, a 24-percent jump over the current level. The firm recently disclosed plans to build plants in Thailand, China and Vietnam, worth $200 million collectively.
Operating income should improve nearly 20 percent a year through 2009, Yokohama said, improving the operating return about a point and a half to 6.3 percent.
On the research side, Yokohama said it expects to extend its core strengths, including chemical synthesis and modification and rubber and polymer compounding. This work will include research into new materials, including natural materials, nanomaterials, modified polymers and electrically conductive polymers.
Development also will encompass new technologies, including nanotechnological control and ultra-precise machining.
The strategy sets forth environmental goals that include adopting consistent environmental management at all operations worldwide, minimizing the environmental impact of all products, and striving to recycle all industrial waste as raw material or as fuel.
The company did not indicate how much it expects employment to grow.