TOKYO (Nov. 10)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. will double annual capacity for radial passenger tires at its Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co. Ltd. joint venture in Hangzhou, China, to 1.4 million units by year-end 2004. Yokohama cited "buoyant" replacement market sales and "active" inquiries from auto makers in China for its decision to move forward by two years the second stage of the plant's planned expansion. Yokohama and its minority partners, YHI Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Hangzhou Rubber (Group) Co., have budgeted $26 million for the project. The second stage production will cover larger diameter and "upmarket" tires, Yokohama said, as well as tires for sport-utility vehicles. The venture secured property adjacent to the existing factory, which went on stream in 2001. The project will more than double the plant's size to 1.43 million square feet. Employment will rise to 500 from 300 upon start-up of the new phase. Yokohama owns 80 percent of the venture.
Yokohama to double capacity at Chinese JV
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