HYOGO, Japan—Toyo Tire Corp. is moving ahead with a previously disclosed expansion of its tire plant in White, Ga., this time to boost capacity nearly 10 percent to 13.9 million passenger and light truck tires annually by January 2021.
The company is budgeting nearly $65 million for the project, which will involve installing new manufacturing equipment in a hall that was added to the 13-year-old plant during the most recent factory upgrade, which has been under way since October 2017.
Toyo said the expansion will support its strategy to increase sales in North America by optimizing the product mix to reflect market trends and improving development and technical capabilities "to supply products that surprise, thus reinforcing the strength of the Toyo brand and building an efficient supply system."
The company stressed that this expansion will support its already substantial capacity for the larger rim-diameter tires that are in high demand in North America for pickup trucks and larger SUVs.
Toyo spent $125 million the past couple of years to add a 254,000-sq.-ft. production hall at the site, which sits on a 150-acre plot of land in rural Bartow County, about 50 miles northwest of Atlanta.
This latest expansion of capacity will take place within that hall. Toyo anticipates the expansion will create 120 jobs by 2021 when production is expected to start. Employment there now stands at about 2,100 with the pending completion later this year of the Phase IV expansion begun in 2017.
The factory, which employs Toyo's proprietary Advanced Tire Operation Module automated manufacturing system, is considered the largest of Toyo's seven tire factories worldwide. The plant produced its 50 millionth tire in January.