CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is opening a tire research and development center in Concord, N.C. that will consolidate separate R&D staffs operating at a number of locations throughout the U.S.
Yokohama plans to initiate operations at the center in September with 56 employee, according to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.
The company, which operates tire plants in Salem, Va., and West Point, Miss., said the U.S. center would be its largest overseas R&D center in both functions and number of employees. YRC said consolidating its R&D activities will strengthen its R&D framework and “further accelerate its ability to deliver new tire products that meet market needs in a timely manner.”
Yokohama has budgeted $2.7 million over three years for the center, according to McCrory and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). YRC did not specify the exact location of the center, but added it would “consider additional investment in its facilities in line with the expansion of the breadth of its activities.”
The new center will focus on designing tires for passenger cars and other consumer applications, but plans to expand its activities to include testing and evaluation, design of tires for industrial and construction machinery, technical services and quality assurance.