TOKYO (May 19) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to build a plant in Vietnam over the coming 13 months to make bias motorcycle and light truck tires, effectively doubling its existing capacity in Vietnam for those products.
Yokohama has budgeted $9 million for the plant, to be built in Binh Duong Province near Ho Chi Minh City, where the company has secured 160 acres of land for the 323,000-sq.-ft. plant and future expansion.
The plant should be on stream by June 2007, Yokohama said, with annual capacity of 3,100 metric tons of mixed rubber. The plant will be operated by a new company, Yokohama Tyre Vietnam Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary.
Yokohama´s existing plant in Vietnam is a joint venture in Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam´s Southern Rubber Industry Co. (Casumina) and Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan. That venture, Yokohama Tyre Vietnam Co., has been making and selling bias motorcycle and light truck tires primarily for the domestic replacement market since 1998.
Local demand has outstripped that plant´s capacity, Yokohama said, necessitating the need for more capacity. Additionally, Yokohama said it will use the new plant to make industrial vehicle tires for the replacement market in Japan and mini spare tires for Japanese car makers.