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Toyo sets production date at new U.S. plant

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Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to start making tires at its soon-to-be built Bartow County, Ga., plant during the first quarter of 2006.

Ground was broken at the future facility´s site yesterday.

The factory will incorporate Toyo´s proprietary automated tire manufacturing system, making it possible "to maintain a high standard of quality while realizing the flexibility to produce small production runs of multiple lines of tires," according to Toyo officials.

The plant is necessary due to "robust overseas demand" that has nearly pushed Toyo´s production capacity in Japan to the limit.

Toyo initially plans to invest $150 million in the plant, which will employ 350 people. The facility is expected to produce two million passenger and light truck tires a year.

A large warehouse also will be constructed at the site in Bartow County. It will service the southeastern U.S.

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