TOKYO—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. management is targeting 8-percent annual sales growth and a double-digit improvement in profitability for the next three years as the company approaches its centennial in 2017.
Yokohama management said it expects the company to more than double in size by 2017 to nearly $9 billion and achieve an operating return on sales of 10 percent-double that of fiscal 2006. That goal is stated in a strategic plan the firm developed called Grand Design 100.
For the near term, Yokohama management envisions the tire business outpacing its other business sectors nearly three to one through fiscal 2009, raising the tire division´s share of Yokohama´s sales about three percentage points to 77 percent.
To achieve such growth, Yokohama management said the company will emphasize higher value-added products, develop and/or adopt new materials, develop new production processes and compact production platforms, and expand manufacturing capability in Asia. Yokohama expects its annual production capacity to rise 24 percent from its current level to 56.6 million tires by 2009.
Yokohama envisions better asset allocation, globalization and product development for its diversified products segment, especially for targeted segments such as hydraulic hoses and construction sealants. Globalization mainly will mean shifting production for a growing range of items to China.
On the research side, Yokohama expects to extend its core strengths, including chemical synthesis and modification, and rubber and polymer compounding. This work will include research into new materials, including natural materials, nanomaterials, modified polymers and electrically conductive polymers.
Development also will encompass new technologies, including nanotechnological control and ultraprecise machining, the company said.
The firm also has the goals of adopting consistent environmental management at all operations worldwide, minimizing the environmental impact of all products and striving to recycle all industrial waste as raw material or as fuel.