Goodyear (Thailand) Plc is set to invest 5.63 billion baht (US$162 million) over the next 10 years adding radial aircraft tyre production technology to its Pathum Thani province-based factory in order to meet growing demand in the Asia Pacific region. The first phase of the three-phase expansion is targeted to begin operations by 2018.
Goodyear believes the expansion will help it capture growing demand for radial tyres as commercial airlines are rapidly converting their fleets to radial technology from bias tyres, managing director Finbarr O’Connor said in a statement. Increasing demand for radial aircraft tyres is based on the fact that new commercial planes use them as standard, requiring replacement products of the same kind in due course. Indeed, Reuters and the Bangkok Post quoted O’Conner as saying the world’s aviation fleet is projected to double in size over the next 20 years.
The Thai unit, which is 66.8 per cent owned by US-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. provides original equipment and replacement tyres for passenger cars, commercial trucks and retreaded tyres for domestic sales and exports. The Thai company, which employs more than 1,000 people in Thailand, expects to hire 100 more workers after the project is completed.