As part of its strategy "to have 50% of our global capacity in low-cost regions by 2012," the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is investing approximately $500 million to relocate its existing manufacturing facility in the Shahekou district of Dalian in China to a new, larger, state-of-the-art plant to be built in Pulandian, Dalian Municipality.
"China’s sound investment environment provides a strong platform for our business goals,” says Robert Keegan, chairman of the board, CEO and president.
The Dalian plant is landlocked by residential developments, Goodyear says, so it will begin moving its production to the new and expanded Pulandian facility by late 2010, when construction on the new plant is expected to be finished. The transfer of production will be completed by 2012, at which point the Dalian plant will be closed.
Based on an internal Product & Process Quality (PPQ) audit conducted among Goodyear's global manufacturing facilities, the Dalian plant emerged as Goodyear’s best performing plant worldwide in 2007 and has been a leader in waste and energy reduction. It has eliminated waste to landfills and reduced energy consumption by 20% over the past three years.
The new plant will create capacity for commercial tires. It also will expand capacity in high-value-added consumer tires to meet the growing demands of the original equipment and replacement markets in China.
“Goodyear has grown steadily into becoming a brand leader in China ever since we established the Dalian plant in 1994," says Pierre Cohade, president of the Asia Pacific Region for Goodyear. "As China, and the entire region, plays a significant role in Goodyear’s global growth strategy, the time is right for us to increase our presence here building one of Goodyear’s most modern and greenest factories in the world. We are proud of our achievements and will continue to build on the strong momentum accelerated by this expansion.”