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Yokohama has "Grand Design" in preparation for its 100th birthday

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During its board of directors meeting yesterday, Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. announced it has drafted a management plan for the next 12 fiscal years, to March 31, 2018. Yokohama's centenary is in 2017, and the company has dubbed its new management plan Grand Design 100.

Grand Design 100 calls for achieving net sales of 1 trillion yen, operating income of 100 billion yen, and operating return on sales of 10% by fiscal year 2018.

The plan comprises four three-year segments. Phase One, the first segment, spans from the present fiscal year, which began on April 1, 2006, to the year ending March 31, 2009.

The chief quantitative targets in Phase One are to increase net sales 24% over the latest fiscal year (to 560 billion yen by 2009), and to increase operating income 60% (to 35 billion yen).

The plan's emphasis is on "evoking a distinctive identity in building corporate value and in building a strong market presence," says Yokohama. "Its basic policy for fulfilling that vision centers on delivering the best products at competitive prices and on time, on asserting world-class strengths in technologies for protecting the environment, and on fostering a customer-oriented corporate culture that honors rigorous standards of corporate ethics."

Strategy in Yokohama's tire business under Grand Design 100 will stress profitable growth. The company has cited three themes in that strategy: products, technology and manufacturing.

1. Product strategy will include aggressive promotion of Yokohama's ADVAN line of high performance tires and other high-value-added products.

2. Technology strategy will include adopting new materials in products, integrating product specifications globally and developing new production processes.

3. Manufacturing strategy will include expanding production capacity in Asian nations and deploying compact production platforms. Yokohama's target for production capacity at March 31, 2009, is 56,550,000 tires a year, a 24% increase over the latest fiscal year.

In Yokohama's Multiple Business (diversified products) segment, the strategy is to stress asset allocation, globalization, and product development.

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