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Toyo chooses Bartow County, Ga., for plant site

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Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has chosen Bartow County, Ga., as the site of its new North American tire manufacturing plant.

The site, located outside Atlanta, proved more suitable than the other site locations -- primarily in the southeastern United States -- under consideration.

The new facility will incorporate the company’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.

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

A new subsidiary company, Toyo Tire North America Inc., will own and operate the manufacturing facility.

The plant is necessary, said Toyo officials, due to "robust overseas demand" that has almost maxed out the company's production capacity in Japan.

Toyo initially plans to invest $150 million in the plant, which will tentatively be operational sometime in 2006. It will be run by 350 employees.

Toyo estimates the facility will build two million passenger and light truck tires a year.

Toyo's domestic subsidiary, Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp., is co-owner with Yokohama Tire Corp. and Continental Tire North America Inc. of the GTY truck tire manufacturing plant in Mount Vernon, Ill.

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