OSAKA, Japan (May 21, 2008) — Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. is moving ahead with plans to expand its global capacity, budgeting nearly $520 million to expand its 2-year-old White, Ga., tire plant and build a passenger tire plant at an as-yet undisclosed location in Asia.
The expansions reflect Toyo's strategy to reinforce its global supply network to support the firm's growth goals outlined in its latest three-year business plan.
In Georgia, Toyo said it will spend $270 million to double the capacity of the Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. passenger/light truck tire plant to 4.4 million units by 2010 and 5.2 million by 2011. These goals were part of the firm's original growth plans outlined when the plant was being built.
The factory has been ramping up output since early 2006 to its original targeted capacity of 2 million units, Toyo said, but strong demand and plans for future business expansion in North America prompted management to go ahead now with the Phase 3 expansion, the firm said.
Word of the expansion comes shortly after Toyo disclosed its sales in North America exceeded $1 billion for the first time, advancing 18 percent last year over 2006.
In Asia Toyo is basing its decision to build a plant on its determination that increasing production at its existing plants would not be sufficient to meet expected growth in global demand.
Therefore, Toyo management is scouting Asia for an appropriate location for a new plant capable of producing up to 4 million passenger tires a year, primarily for international export. The firm has budgeted $232 million for this project, which would come on stream by March 2012.