SHINSHIRO, Japan (Feb. 12, 2016) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to increase capacity for high-performance, larger-rim diameter tires at its plant in Shinshiro by 20 percent, investing $33 million through April 2018 to do so.
Yokohama said the 54-year-old Shinshiro plant — together with its sister plant in nearby Shinshiro-Minami — has an annual capacity of 16.9 million units, the largest car tire capacity of any of its plants.
The investment will focus on increasing capacity for tires with rim diameters of 18 inches and larger. Initial production from the expanded line will start by June 2017 and be completed by April 2018.
Yokohama said the expansion reflects rising global demand for larger tires, which the company said provide exceptional vehicle maneuverability and a stylish appearance and are “highly profitable.” Such tires are being adopted increasingly as OE fitments on luxury sports cars and SUVs, Yokohama added.
The company did not comment on whether the project would increase the physical size of the plant or raise employment, which stood at 1,044 at last report.
Yokohama last expanded performance tire capacity at the plant complex in 2007.