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Sumitomo Targets May 11 for U.S. Plant Restart

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Sumitomo Targets May 11 for U.S. Plant Restart

Sumitomo Rubber USA LLC is planning to resume production at its tire plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., on May 11.

The plant, which closed in late-March, produces passenger, light truck and commercial truck tires and has a maximum capacity of 17,300 units per day, according to MTD research.

Last month, in a message to employees of the plant, Sumitomo said it had decided to temporarily suspend production for two weeks.

Sumitomo is the latest tire manufacturer to schedule plant reopenings during the month of May. Yesterday, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. announced that its consumer tire plant in White, Ga., will reopen on May 3.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. also disclosed that its two commercial truck tire plants in the U.S. have initiated "limited" ramp-ups and that the "majority" of its other plants in North America will resume operation by the end of May.

Earlier this week, in an exclusive interview with MTD, T.J. Higgins, global chief business strategic officer, Bridgestone Corp., said that the company’s consumer tire plants in North America “will come back to production sometime in May.”

Bridgestone's commercial tire plants in the U.S. reopened in mid-April.

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