TOKYO (March 24)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to spend $41 million over the coming 18 to 24 months to add capacity for performance passenger and sport-utility vehicle tires at its Shinshiro Ninami plant. The factory, to be built on a 333,000-sq.-ft. plot of land being acquired from the local municipality, will be based on Yokohama's New Manufacturing System, which emphasizes small-lot production runs using advanced, space-saving techniques, the company said. Production will concentrate on tires 18 inches in diameter and larger, the firm said, with annual capacity starting at 300,000 units and eventually expanding to 750,000 units. Yokohama laid the groundwork for this project last year by modernizing the mixing facility at the Shinshiro plant, spending about $6.3 million for new equipment and expanding the factory. When completed, the passenger tire project will increase the size of the Shinshiro plant 56 percent to 930,680 square feet.