TOKYO (May 10, 2007) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to expand production capacity at plants in Japan and Thailand over the coming two years in projects valued at more than $140 million.
In Japan, Yokohama will triple capacity for high-performance tires at its plant in Shinshiro-Minami, Japan, by 2009, spending $83 million to do so. Annual capacity at the 3-year-old plant will rise to 3.1 million units by 2009 from 1 million currently.
Yokohama began making larger-diameter high-performance tires for cars and sport-utility vehicles at the plant in 2004. The factory sits adjacent to the firm's 33-year-old Shinshiro passenger and light truck tire plant.
Yokohama did not comment on the expansion's effect on employment.
In Thailand, Yokohama plans to double annual capacity for passenger and light truck tires to 2.8 million units at its 2-year-old truck tire plant in Amata City, Rayong Province, in what it terms a “second-term” expansion valued at $58 million.
Yokohama budgeted $109 million in 2005 to build a passenger/light truck tire plant adjacent to the truck tire plant it opened there that same year. The passenger/LT tire capacity came on stream last November.
Yokohama plans to use a small-scale integrated manufacturing system for the expansion, meaning the project will take less time to complete and will cost less, the Tokyo-based firm said.
Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. sits on 4.5 million acres of land near Amata City in Rayong Province. Truck tire capacity there is 350,000 units a year.