TOKYO (May 10) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to spend more than $140 million to boost production capacity during the next two years at tire plants in Japan and Thailand.
Yokohama said it will triple capacity for high-performance tires at its Shinshiro-Minami, Japan, factory by 2009, at a cost of $83 million. The annual capacity at the three-year-old factory will rise to 3.1 million units by 2009.
The firm began producing larger-diameter high-performance tires for cars and sport-utility vehicles at the plant in 2004.
In Thailand, Yokohama said it will double annual capacity for passenger and light truck tires to 2.8 million units at its two-year-old truck tire plant in Amata City, Rayong Province. It termed that expansion "second-term," and said it will spend $58 million on the project.
Yokohama budgeted $109 million in 2005 to build a passenger/light truck tire facility adjacent to the truck tire plant it opened there that same year. The passenger/LT tire capacity came on stream last November.
The tire maker said it will use a small-scale integrated manufacturing system for the expansion, meaning the project will take less time to complete and cost less.