CORNELIUS, N.C.—Yokohama Tire Corp. has opened a U.S. tire research and development facility in Cornelius, where it will consolidate dozens of R&D staffers from other facilities around the country, including the temporary R&D office it opened in Concord, N.C., in 2016.
The 25,000-sq.-ft. Cornelius facility, dubbed Yokohama Development Center America, is Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.'s largest overseas R&D center in both function and number of employees, YTC said without disclosing the number of employees the facility will house nor its investment in the building.
"Consolidating our R&D activities will strengthen our R&D structure and further accelerate our ability to deliver new products that meet the demands of the market," Tetsuya Kuze, executive vice president of Yokohama Corp. of North America, said. "We are committed to developing new products for this market across multiple segments."
Kuze described Cornelius—a town of 25,000 about 20 miles north of Charlotte and 20 miles west of Concord—as a "great fit" for Yokohama and said the proximity to the Charlotte airport and skilled workforce "is going to make this facility very successful."
Yokohama opened the Concord R&D center in 2016, saying at that time it intended to consolidate separate R&D staffs operating at a number of locations throughout the U.S. There was no indication then it was only a temporary move.