Toyo Celebrates Grand Opening of Georgia Plant
(Akron/Tire Review) Toyo Tire North America Inc. (TNA) officially opened its first North American tyre production facility this morning in White, Georgia. The opening ceremonies were attended by Georgia state and regional officials, Toyo and Nitto tyre dealers, and Bartow County, Georgia., business and community leaders.
The state-of-the-art, $180 million plant has nearly one million square feet under roof, and features Toyo’s highly-automated and proprietary tyre production system – Advanced Tire Operation Module (ATOM), which is designed for multi-product, small-lot production. ATOM allows Toyo to reduce its overall space needs and production lead times, the company said.
“Toyo has built the most technologically advanced manufacturing facility in its 60-year history in order to provide the highest quality tires for our loyal North American consumers and the possible service for our valued network of dealers,” said Shozo (Carlos) Kibata, president of Toyo Tire North America. “We are grateful to Georgians for helping us to create this impressive facility and for providing a diversified and highly skilled workforce that will enable us to manufacture the industry’s most innovative and reliable tyres yet.”
The new plant will initially employ 350 people, and will have an initial capacity of two million passenger and light truck/SUV tyres per year. Long-term, the plant could employ as many as 900 people, and future expansion could bump annual production to six million units.
Less than one year after groundbreaking, the new Toyo plant began producing its first tyres in October. TNA said it is on target to begin full commercial production in the first quarter of 2006.
“We have worked hard to market the state of Georgia to industry-leading companies all over the world,” said state Governor Sonny Perdue. “Today’s grand opening is a celebration of the hard work and cooperation of state and local economic development officials. Toyo is providing skills and job training to Georgia citizens, and strengthening the Bartow County community.”