TONAWANDA, N.Y. —- The state of New York, through its Empire State Development (ESD) agency, is providing Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc. up to $3.3 million in financial support toward the $122 million expansion plan under way at the company's 99-year-old tire factory in Tonawanda.
ESD said the funds, which come from the state's Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments, will be used toward the purchase of new mixing and tire-building equipment, curing presses and additional ancillary machinery.
In the expansion plan that SRNA disclosed in mid-February, the company anticipates the creation of 30 jobs at the 99-year-old plant in suburban Buffalo. ESD said the jobs will carry an average annual salary starting at $50,000 per year. It expects to complete the installation of the new equipment by December 2023.
Sumitomo, which goes to market in North America with the Falken and Ohtsu brands, is budgeting $96 million to nearly double capacity for car and light truck tires to 12,000 units a day by year-end 2023, as well as $26 million through year-end 2024 to raise truck tire capacity 31.4% to 2,300 tires a day.
"The multi-million-dollar investment in the Sumitomo Rubber plant is another strong signal of confidence in the western New York economy's promise for rebounding from the pandemic," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
"The future success of New York's manufacturers is dependent on their hard-working employees and their ability to maximize production in response to increased market demands. I congratulate Sumitomo for creating this opportunity for growth and modernizing a plant that has a long history of success in the region."
Sumitomo Rubber USA President and CEO Yasutaka Ii said, "Sumitomo Rubber has enjoyed a long history at this facility in Tonawanda. Our customers value the products made at this facility by our dedicated and talented employees.
"With tremendous support from our local governments in Tonawanda and Western New York, and this strong signal of commitment from the governor and the state of New York ... we look forward to remaining a strong employer and great corporate citizen in this community."
Located alongside the Niagara River in Tonawanda, the 2 million-sq.-ft. factory was opened in 1920 by British tire maker Dunlop Ltd. Japan's Sumitomo Rubber Industries has owned and operating the facility since 2015, following the dissolution of the 16-year-long Goodyear-SRI global alliance.
The sprawling complex includes manufacturing, warehouse and related office space for the U.S. headquarters of Sumitomo Rubber USA on 130 acres of land.
ESD is New York's chief economic development agency. Its mission is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the state and its municipalities and achieve stable and diversified local economies.