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Yokohama: tire plant construction a go in Vietnam

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The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to increase its production capacity of bias tires for motorcycles and light trucks in Vietnam by 250% with the help of a new plant.

The company says it will begin constructing the 1 billion yen tire plant in June under its new wholly-owned subsidiary, Yokohama Tyre Vietnam Inc. The plant will tentatively begin operations in June 2007.

In 1997, Yokohama Rubber established Yokohama Tyre Vietnam Co. as a joint-venture company with Southern Rubber Industry Co. (Casumina) of Ho Chi Minh City and Mitsubishi Corp. Since 1998, the joint venture has been manufacturing bias tires for motorcycles and light trucks and selling them mainly for sale in the domestic replacement tire market.

However, as tire demand has expanded, the existing plant's production capacity has become unable to fully meet it.

Yokohama says another factor motivated it to build a new plant: the necessity of manufacturing industrial vehicle tires for the replacement market in Japan and mini-spare tires for Japanese car manufacturers.

The new tire plant will be constructed in Binh Duong Province in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City as an integrated manufacturing plant encompassing from material mixing and building to curing. Its production capacity will be 3,100 tons a year on a new rubber consumption basis.

Although its plant area is 30,000 square meters, Yokohama Rubber has acquired 60,000 square meters of land for expected future expansion.

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