BANGKOK, Thailand-Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. will build a passenger tire plant in Thailand´s Rayong Province that eventually will become the company´s largest operation at 7 million units a year.
Groundbreaking for the factory Estate will take place in August, Sumitomo said, with production start-up scheduled for January 2007.
Sumitomo did not disclose the size of the investment, but in Rayong´s Amata City Industrial last year the firm said it had budgeted more than $330 million through 2006 to expand capacity at its plants throughout Asia, including major projects in Japan and Indonesia.
Daily capacity will start at about 12,000 units and ramp up to 22,000 by 2010, Sumitomo said.
The facility will use automated production systems that require fewer workers and less space for equipment, Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Ltd.´s Ryochi Sawada said.
The Thai plant will be Sumitomo´s seventh tire factory, joining plants in Japan, Indonesia and China.