Within four years, Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc. will double consumer tire capacity at its Buffalo, N.Y., plant.
The plant has the capacity to produce close to 5,000 passenger and light truck tires a day. By the end of 2019, it will be able to produce 10,000 a day.
"With this move, we will enhance our ability to produce tires locally for the North American market, focusing especially on expanding local production of SUV tires, which are in particularly high demand in North America," says the subsidiary's parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. "By increasing our proportion of locally produced tires and cutting sales lead times, we aim to expand our overall tire sales in North America."
Sumitomo will invest $87 million dollars on factory upgrades to increase both production capacity and productivity.
"The dissolution of our longstanding 'Global Alliance' with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in October of 2015 ("Goodyear-Sumitomo Split Is Official") has given the Sumitomo Rubber Group a much greater degree of freedom to conduct our business in North America," says Sumitomo. "Thus, having considered various measures to enhance our productivity and expand sales in the region, we have decided to invest in increasing production at our factory in the United States."
The facility also produces truck, bus and motorcycle tires. According to the 2016 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue, the plant has the capacity to produce 2,300 truck tires a day and 5,000 motorcycle tires a day.
"We have already begun the partial transfer of production of tires for the North American market from our group's Thailand factory to our local factory in the United States," says the company. "In the future, as part of our efforts to expand sales in the North American market, we plan to continue moving forward with expanding local production for local consumption in order to reduce sales lead times while enhancing our ability to supply high performance SUV tires, environmentally friendly fuel-efficient tires and other high-value-added tires to customers in North America."
Sumitomo Rubber Industries recently announced it also was investing nearly $100 million in its consumer tire plant in Brazil. The money will add truck and bus tire production to the factory; those tires are earmarked solely for the Brazilian domestic market.
Sumitomo Rubber North America's Falken Tire subsidiary is responsible for replacement sales of Falken, Ohtsu and private brand tires for the light vehicle and commercial markets in North America. For more information, check out these links: