Yokohama Rubber Given OK to Construct Proving Ground in Thailand
Yokohama Rubber announced on August 22 that it has received approval from the Thailand Board of Investment to go ahead with the construction of a large proving ground. The company has already secured a 1.69-million square metre site in Thailand’s Rayong Province. The proving ground, to be built at an estimated cost of 2.5 billion yen (£11 million) should be complete by the end of March 2009.
For the new proving ground, Yokohama Rubber will construct a high-speed circuit with a total road length of 4.1 kilometres and a 1 kilometre section of straight track. The company also plans to construct various test courses for the proving of driving stability, fuel efficiency, durability, noise, vibration and driving comfort. Rayong Province was chosen both due to its close proximity to the facilities of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., and the availability of suitable land in the area.
At present, Yokohama Rubber owns proving grounds in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture and Hokkaido Island. The Hokkaido ground specialises in testing winter tyres. The addition of the Thai proving ground is aimed at improving the company’s tyre evaluation capability as a global whole, and tyres made at Yokohama Rubber group’s manufacturing bases in Thailand, Philippines, China, Japan and the United States will be evaluated at the Thai proving ground.