TOKYO—Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has completed an expansion of the Tire Test Center of Asia, the company's comprehensive tire proving ground in Thailand's Rayong Province.
The expansion adds four test courses: a 1.5 mile dry test course and about a mile-long wet test course for handling tests, a skid pad and a corner hydroplaning test road.
The two handling test courses enable the testing of overall tire performance and compatibility with specific vehicles under wet and dry road conditions. The skid pad is used for testing tire grip performance on wet roads, and the corner hydroplaning road is used to test the overall water drainage performance of the tire and its tread pattern.
Yokohama did not disclose the cost of the investment.
The tire maker opened the 417-acre tire proving ground in 2009, opting for a site close to its Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. factory in Rayong and because of Thailand's rather stable climate, according to the tire maker. Expansion of the Thai proving ground enables Yokohama to conduct complete tests of its tires' handling and vibration performance, the company said.
This is Yokohama's third test track/proving ground. The others are in Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture and on Hokkaido Island, the latter of which specializes in testing of winter tires.