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Yokohama plans to build consumer tire plant in Thailand

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. announced it will build a small passenger and light truck tire manufacturing plant in Thailand for 11.5 billion yen ($108.7 million).

The company plans to construct the plant in October 2005 and begin production in November 2006 as part of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. It will have an annual capacity of 1.4 million tires.

According to Yokohama Rubber, the new plant will be a "first-phase operation." It will be expanded if demand calls for it.

The facility is part of Yokohama Rubber's efforts to boost production capacity in Japan, the Philippines and Thailand in response to rising global tire demand. The company aims to emphasize increasing SUV and light truck tire production capacity.

Yokohama Rubber established Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) in January 2004 to manufacture and market radial truck and bus tires. It began making truck and bus tires in April, and has an annual capacity of 350,000 tires.

It doubled the property size in December 2004 by acquiring adjacent land, in line with plans to make the subsidiary a comprehensive tire production base. The new passenger car and light truck tire plant will be on the new land.

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