TOKYO (May 13, 2008) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. said it will increase monthly capacity of off-the-road tires at its Onomichi, Japan, plant by 31.5 percent by early 2011, a year ahead of schedule.
The Japanese tire maker is budgeting $52.6 million to accelerate the project because of demand for OTR tires. Originally disclosed in October, the project will boost the plant's monthly capacity for OTR tires by 600 metric tons to 2,500 tons.
Yokohama didn't provide specifics on the types and/or sizes of OTR tires the expanded plant will be capable of making. It also didn't say if the project is connected with its contract to supply Canada's Barrick Gold Corp. with up to 1,300 giant bias-ply OTR tires for the firm's 30 gold mines around the world.
Yokohama said in the OTR tire business it is particularly strong in medium and small radial tires and large and medium bias-ply tires.
The manufacturer said it expects demand for the types of tires it's making at Onomichi to continue growing for more than 10 years, with global expansion of mining and port cargo handling playing increasingly important roles.