OSAKA, JapanToyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to boost annual capacity at its White, Ga., tire plant 38 percent by mid-2015.
The company said it plans to spend $210 million to add nearly 475,000 square feet to the 9-year-old factory. The expansion is designed to meet growing tire demand in the North American market.
After the expansionthe third since the plant opened in 2005the factory's capacity will rise to 8 million car and light truck tires, Toyo said. Toyo Tire President Akira Nobuki indicated in an interview with Bloomberg News several weeks ago that Toyo was considering raising capacity in the U.S., especially for profitable products such as tires for sport-utility vehicles.
Toyo makes both Toyo- and Nitto-branded products at the White plant, which uses Toyo's proprietary Advanced Tire Operation Mod-ule manufacturing system.
In its half-year financial results, Toyo said both unit sales and revenue in North America were favorable due to rising demand for its high value-added tires, such as those for SUVs. Toyo is forecasting 25-percent growth in revenue from its North American operations this year, to roughly $1.4 billion.
The Osaka-based tire maker last expanded the White plant in 2010-11, but the company has at its disposal several hundred million dollars in potential funding in the form of a $910 million bond facility approved in September 2011 by the Bartow County (Ga.) Joint Development Authority.
The facility provides continuing tax incentives to Toyo, giving the company the option of continuing our periodic investments (at the plant) well into the future, the company said at that time.