CURITIBA, Brazil—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is moving ahead with plans to add truck tire capacity at its 3-year-old plant in Fazenda Rio Grande, Brazil.
SRI has budgeted $96 million over four years to add capacity for 500 truck tires a day initially, with production to start by March 2019, along with $54 million to expand car and light truck tire capacity.
SRI expects the project to create 600 jobs at the plant, which currently employs 1,217 and produces 15,000 car and light truck tires a day.
Sumitomo cited Brazil's growing demand for radial truck tires—2 percent annually for the “forseeable future”—and a desire to avoid currency fluctuation risks inherent in having to import products for its decision to expand capacity.
The SRI opened the 5.38-million-sq.ft. plant in Brazil's Parana State, southwest of Sao Paulo, in late 2013 after an investment of $345 million. SRI does business in Brazil as Sumitomo Rubber do Brasil Ltda.
Adding truck tires will necessitate a physical expansion of the plant by about 144,000 square feet, SRI said.
The investment would allow SRI to expand car and light truck tire capacity by about 3,000 tires a day.
Sumitomo Rubber President Ikuji Ikeda and Gov. Beto Richa disclosed the investment at a recent meeting in the governor's palace in Curitiba.