TOKYO (June 30)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. opened two Chinese plants in June to better meet automotive and construction market demands in the region.
Yokohama Hamatite (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd., which makes and sells passenger car sealants in China, and Yokohama Hoses & Coupling (Hangzhou) Co. Ltd., which assembles and sells high-pressure hoses, unveiled new facilities at a joint ceremony June 22.
The growth of demand for automobiles in China and a string of major infrastructure projects—notably for the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo—prompted Yokohama to establish Yokohama Hamatite (Hangzhou) in February 2004 and Yokohama Hoses & Coupling (Hangzhou) in December 2004. Both subsidiaries began full operations in June 2004.
Yokohama Hamatite (Hangzhou) has a two-phase expansion plan with a total estimated investment of $3.7 million. The first phase resulted in establishing an annual production capacity of 1,000 metric tons, while the second phase will double capacity by 2007 in line with market growth. The company initially will supply mainly Japanese transplant automakers in China.
Yokohama Hoses & Coupling (Hangzhou) will start by assembling 2,500 hoses monthly, raising output 10,000 units monthly through 2008. It will quickly pursue localization of joint coupling production.
The hose subsidiary will supply original equipment offerings, mainly for Japanese construction machinery manufacturers, and envisions entering the aftermarket as replacement demand increases. The capital investment for equipment and facilities will be $350,000.