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Yokohama opens Thai truck and bus tire plant

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The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. 's subsidiary Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. held a grand opening ceremony today for its new steel radial truck and bus tire plant.

Production began in April 2005, but the official opening was timed to coincide with the start of shipments, the company says.

Around 200 people attended the ceremony including Mike Manges, senior editor of Modern Tire Dealer magazine; representatives of Japanese and overseas tire sales companies and Japanese automakers; and Tadanobu Nagumo, president of The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (See Manges' full report on the plant in an upcoming issue of MTD.)

Nagumo said, "The new facility's mission will be to fulfill our commitment to provide the best products at competitive prices and on time. We will accordingly cultivate Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) so that it becomes our largest comprehensive tire production base outside Japan."

Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) was established in January 2004. The first phase of construction finished on schedule in April 2005, resulting in an annual production capacity of 350,000 tires.

The facility will export these products to replacement markets outside Japan, including Europe, North America and Oceania.

A second-phase expansion plan will expand production capacity to 700,000 tires a year.

In December 2004, Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) purchased adjacent land to double its plant site area. The goal is to build a plant with an annual capacity of 1.4 million passenger car and light truck tires by November 2006.

Second and third stage expansions are planned thereafter.

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