CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines (May 31, 2011)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has broken ground on a $600 million expansion of its consumer tire plant in the Philippines, designed to more than double annual capacity to 17 million units by 2017.
Yokohama has leased 798 acres of land adjacent to its 15-year-old plant in Clark Freeport Zone, site of the former U.S. Air Force's Clark Air Base.
By the time the expansion is complete, the plant will cover nearly 5 million square feet; employment will more than double to 5,000.
The expansion will occur in three stages, Yokohama said earlier, with the first phase boosting output to 10 million units annually by 2013 and to 13 million units by 2014. The second phase will add the remaining 4 million units of capacity by 2017.
Established in 1996 as the manufacturing base for passenger-car tires for export markets, the Philippines plant makes tires with rim diameters of 13 to 18 inches for cars and sport-utility vehicles. Most of the tires are exported to Europe, North America and Southeast Asian countries, including deliveries to car makers in North America and Asia, Yokohama said.