TOKYO (May 12)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., seeking to meet rising global tire demand, will add passenger car and light truck tire capacity in the coming 18 months at a new factory adjacent to its existing truck tire plant near Bangkok, Thailand.
Yokohama has budgeted $109 million for the project, which will install 1.4 million units of annual capacity in a first-phase operation, with particular emphasis on tires for sport-utility vehicles and light trucks.
The new plant—to be built on a 2.08 million-sq.-ft. plot of land adjacent to the recently commissioned Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. truck tire plant—will be designed to allow for second- and third-phase expansion, if demand permits, Yokohama said.
The $50 million truck tire plant came on stream in April with an annual capacity of 350,000 units; this will double to 700,000 units by 2007, Yokohama said.
The new plant is part of Yokohama's overall effort to boost production capacity in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.