FULLERTON, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2010)—Yokohama Tire Corp. said it will spend $13 million to expand operations at its Salem, Va., plant because of rising demand for its consumer and light truck tires.
The U.S. arm of Japan's Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. said the project will include new tire-making machinery, upgrading and modifying existing machines and an increase in high-performance and light truck tire manufacturing flexibility.
The expansion is scheduled to be completed by August 2011.
Yokohama has experienced strong demand, well above the industry average, according to Dan King, vice president, sales and marketing for the Fullerton-based firm. Increasing shipments from the company's plants overseas hasn't been enough to meet the need, he said.
King said demand for Yokohama tires has been strong across the board, and pointed to a third expansion by the parent company of a factory in Thailand—at a cost of $117 million—as an example of the firm's response to higher sales.
The Salem plant currently has the capacity to make 5.5 million passenger and light truck radials annually, and employs 1,152, according to information published in Rubber & Plastics News' Global Tire Report in September.