OSAKA, Japan—Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. will boost annual capacity at its White, Ga., tire plant 38 percent by mid-2015.
The company said it plans to spend $210 million to add nearly 475,000 square feet to the 9-year-old factory. The expansion is designed to meet growing tire demand in the North American market for its products.
After the expansion—the fourth since the plant opened in 2005—the factory's capacity will rise to 8 million car and light truck tires, Toyo said. When the expansion is complete in August, 2015, Toyo expects to increase production by 2.5 million tires annually.
Toyo Tire President Akira Nobuki indicated several weeks in an interview with Bloomberg News that Toyo was considering raising capacity in the U.S., especially for profitable products such as tires for sport-utility vehicles.
Toyo last expanded the White plant in 2010-11, but the company has at its disposal several hundred million dollars in potential funding in the form of a $910 million bond facility approved in September 2011 by the Bartow County (Ga.) Joint Development Authority.
The facility provides continuing tax incentives to Toyo, giving the company the "option of continuing our periodic investments (at the plant) well into the future," the company said at that time.