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Yokohama Rubber outlines Phase II of Grand Design 100

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Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has outlined the policy for Phase II of Grand Design 100. Phase I of the medium-range management plan began on April 1, 2006, and runs through March 31, 2009 (see "Yokohama has 'Grand Design' in preparation for its 100th birthday, May 11, 2006).

Phase II is scheduled to begin April 1, 2009, following the end of Phase I.

Yokohama describes the policy for the Phase II, which the company defines as "Quality Growth," as follows:

"In order to keep growing even in a business environment that is unforeseeable due to current instability of the global financial system and rapid recession, it is indispensable for the company to be aggressive with flexibility and establish a corporate culture supporting lean and agile operations. For the achievement of these two aspects, Yokohama Rubber believes it necessary to improve quality in terms of both operations and management."

Yokohama says it will strengthen its Tire Group, Multiple Business Group and technological development as part of Phase II. In the Tire Group, it plans to:

* improve the global presence of the Yokohama brand;

* expand and improve sales networks in regions such as Europe and Latin America; and

* establish new manufacturing bases in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries.

With respect to the establishment of new manufacturing bases, the company says it will "employ a compact, integrated production platform that enables it to make flexible and quick investments."

Yokohama also will make efforts to establish corporate social responsibility (CSR) management, strengthen the corporate foundation, and improve financial quality. (The CSR Division, created in June this year, will play "the central role in steering the company, with a good balance between the aspects of economy, environment and society, according to the company.)

More details of Phase II, which will last through March 31, 2012, will be released in March 2009.

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