WHITE, Ga.Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. broke ground Dec. 6 on the first phase of a $371 million expansion of its White tire plant that will boost annual capacity nearly 40 percent by 2016.
The investment sum is $161 million more than the company disclosed in August and includes the addition of 323,000 square feet of warehousing space at the seven-year-old passenger and light truck tire plant.
When completed, the 700,000-sq.-ft. addition to the plant's manufacturing space will boost annual capacity to about 8 million tires, Toyo said, as well as create 650 jobs.
Toyo attributed the decision to expand the plant to rising demand for Toyo- and Nitto-brand passenger and light truck tires. The plant recently produced the 20 millionth tire since the plant's opening in 2006. This will be Toyo's fourth expansion of the plant, which features Toyo's proprietary A.T.O.M. (Advanced Tire Operation Module) manufacturing technology.
We are proud to manufacture tires for North America, on North American soil, said Jim Hawk, president, Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing. This plant, and the people who work in it, play an important role in supporting consumers and our dealers as demand for our products continues to grow. This fourth expansion will help us answer that demand.
The tire maker said about $25 million of the additional spending will support the warehouse expansion; the rest is for the capacity expansion.
Mr. Hawk was joined by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and other state and local dignitaries for the ground-breaking, including Scott McMurray, director of international projects with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Carl Campbell, project manager of existing industry and regional recruitment with the department.