Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. is planning expansions to a pair of its manufacturing sites, adding capacity to build a combined 7.2 million passenger tires each year.

The company will add new buildings at its Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. site in Bartow County, Georgia, as well as the Toyo Tyre Malaysia Sdn Bhd site in Malaysia. Both projects will be done in two phases.

The Georgia site will be expanded to add capacity for 2.4 million passenger vehicle tires. The first phase will cover 1.2 million tires annually, and production is to start in April 2019. Toyo says the U.S. plant "is the main profit generator for our company."

The Malaysia plant will grow to add 4.8 million passenger vehicle tires, half of which will be included in the first phase. Production there is to begin in October 2019.

“Toyo Tires foresees continued growth beyond 2020 and is considering adding new production bases to position itself in the global market,” the company says.

The U.S. plant, which began production in December 2005, “has been increasing its production capacity in multiple steps over four phases to meet the sharp increase in demand for light truck tires in the North American market.”

In the fall of 2016 the plant became Toyo’s largest tire manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 11.5 million passenger tires.

The company says it plans to increase tire sales to 400 billion yen in 2020, up 31.6% from 2016, and that expanding production capacity will help “strengthen the company’s business foundation in order to maximize profits."

There’s also another goal, the Toyo says, “It is intended to further solidify Toyo Tires’ sales of large diameter tires for pickup trucks, SUVs and CUVs.”

Toyo says the Malaysia production site is a “global hub” for supplying tires to Southeast Asia, as well as Europe, Japan and North America.

The expansions at both sites represent an approximate 35 billion yen investment — 14 billion yen in the U.S. and 21 billion yen in Malaysia.

Once both phases of this expansion are complete, Toyo says the U.S. plant will have a capacity of 13.9 million passenger tires, while the Malaysia plant will have a capacity of 9.8 million passenger tires.

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