TOKYO (Aug. 22) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has received permission from Thai officials to build a tire proving ground in Thailand at a cost of nearly $22 million.
Yokohama has secured a site of about 420 acres in Thailand´s Rayong Province for the proving ground, which will encompass 2.5 miles of high-speed roadways, including a 0.62-mile straightaway and test courses for the confirmation of driving stability, fuel efficiency, durability, noise, vibration and driving comfort.
Yokohama said it chose the site because it is close to its Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. factory. The facility should be operational by the second quarter of 2009.
Yokohama disclosed the project — which it said will help upgrade its capabilities for evaluating and improving the quality of its tires for passenger cars, trucks and buses — after receiving permission to go ahead with construction from the Thailand Board of Investment.
This will be Yokohama´s third proving ground. The others are in Japan´s Ibaraki Prefecture and on Hokkaido Island, the latter of which is specialized for testing winter tires.
The new facility will test tires made at Yokohama´s plants in Thailand, the Philippines, China, Japan and the U.S.