OTR tiremakers address supply shortage

Jan. 30, 2006

At least three of the major OTR tire manufacturers are adding production at their respective plants in an attempt to ease the supply problems that are plaguing OTR tire dealers and end users.

Bridgestone Corp. is boosting production at its OTR plants in Japan.

Michelin North America Inc. is in the process of sinking $85 million into its OTR plant in Lexington, S.C., over the next five years to boost the facility's output by 50%.

Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., parent company of Yokohama Tire Corp., also is hiking production in Japan that will enable it to produce 3% more product this year, Gary Nash, director of OTR sales for Yokohama Tire Corp., has told moderntiredealer.com.

Two other OTR tire manufacturers -- Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. -- report that their U.S. OTR plants are currently running at maximum capacity. (CTNA builds large OTR tires at its Bryan, Ohio, plant, while the majority of Goodyear brand OTR tires that are used in the U.S. are built at the company's factory in Topeka, Kan.)

"There's no inventory," Tim Good, manager, global accounts, off-road tires, for Goodyear says. "I hate to say it, but we're almost on a 'just-in-time' (delivery) basis."