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American Tire Corp. says plans for new radial OTR tire plant are moving forward

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American Tire Corp. (ATC) says it is "steadily moving forward" with the planned construction of its new $500 million radial OTR tire plant in the state of Washington.

Dr. Abraham Hengyucius, president of ATC, visited three proposed site locations in Washington in early December. All the locations are located in Foreign Trade Zones approved by the United States federal government, and all have on-site rail and port access.

The final decision on the location will be made in January 2008 "based on the convenience of ocean transportation because there will be around 15 to 30 containers in and out every day as soon as the new plant reaches its full capacity of producing 50,000 giant radial tires per year," says the company.

The plant will primarily produce 63- and 57-inch Colorado brand radial OTR tires. More specifically, ATC says it will be geared up to produce the following on an annual basis:

* 18,000 units of 59/80R63 tires;

* "thousands" of 53/80R63, 50/80R57 and 40.00R57 size tires; and

* thousands of 51-inch radial tires.

The plant was originally estimated to cost $200 million. However, ATC adjusted the budget to $500 million. This investment "will be primarily covered by American Tire Corporation's sales," although a certain percentage of outside investment "will be considered."

(East West Bank in Pasadena, Calif., will provide "cash support" during the plant's construction, according to ATC.)

"This Washington facility will finally become the largest giant OTR tire plant in North America as soon as it reaches full production," says the company. "It will produce the same quality 63-inch and 57-inch radial tires as Michelin and Bridgestone. However, we are able to supply as many such tires as users need, which (is) definitely out of Michelin and Bridgestone's capacity."

For more information, visit ATC's Web site at www.americantire.us.

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