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Toyo buys instant credibility in SE Asia

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Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has acquired all of the shares of Malaysia-based tire manufacturer Silverstone Corp. Berhad. The purchase positions the company "to make a full-scale entry into the fast-growing Southeast Asia market."

As soon as it is practicable, the company plans to commence production of Toyo and Nitto brand tires at the new subsidiary, and build an export distribution network centered on Asia. Toyo also says it plans "to further improve the quality of the Silverstone brand tire, with the goal of expanding sales throughout Asia."

As part of its long-term global plan, the company also:

* is working on the "third phase expansion" of the Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. facility in White, Ga.

* has begun construction on a tire manufacturing plant in China (see "Toyo Tire breaks ground on its first Chinese plant").

By strengthening the foundation of its tire business, the company says it "has established a plan for growth and cost competitiveness."

Toyo is assessing the impact, if any, that this acquisition may have on its consolidated earnings results for the year ending March 31, 2011.

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