The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced that it would construct a new plant to manufacture truck/bus (TB) tires in the United States. With a capital investment of 300 million US dollars, the Japanese tire maker plans to build the new plant with an annual production capacity of 1 million tires. Under the company’s plan, the construction will begin by September this year for starting production from October 2015. The location, proposed to be in West Point, Mississippi, is awaiting legislative approval from the state, which is scheduled to take place on April 26.
In the North American market (including the U.S. and Canada), YOKOHAMA brand TB tires are highly regarded because of the products’ superior retreading capability and fuel efficiency. Yokohama Rubber has been providing tires to the North American market through GTY Tire Company, a U.S. joint venture company specialized in manufacturing TB tires, and through export from Japan and Thailand. Yokohama Rubber however considered it necessary to build the new plant so as to accommodate the increasingly growing demand for its brand and further strengthen a system aimed at “local production for local consumption”.
The new plant is slated to be built on over 500-acre land and represents Phase I of Yokohama’s overall plan for the site. Potential expansions could increase the original business size up to 4 times or so in scale in accordance with future business growth.