Yokohama outlines Philippines, Russia projects
Production capacity for Yokohama Rubber’s passenger car tyres will increase in Asia and Russia through the implementation of two separate projects.
On 14 February the company announced plans to implement the Phase II expansion at its Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc. plant, which is located northwest of Manila. Work will begin in May and involve a total investment of 11 billion yen (£75.4 million). This investment will increase annual production capacity by 2.5 million tyres. Operation will begin in autumn 2014 and Yokohama intends full-fledged production to start the following year. By the time the Phase II expansion is completed, Yokohama Tire Philippines’ annual production capacity is expected to reach 12.5 million tyres.
In January 2011, Yokohama Rubber announced its plan to expand Yokohama Tire Philippines’ annual production capacity 7 million to 17 million tyres by 2017. According to the plan, Yokohama Rubber would invest 20 billion yen (£137.2 million) in the Phase I expansion to increase capacity by 3 million tyres a year by 2013. Also planned was the following Phase II expansion, to increase capacity to 13 million by 2014.
Phase I expansion has been completed as scheduled and operation begins in February 2013; the Phase I plant will enter full-fledged production in 2014. The Phase II expansion outlined above is based on the initial plan, however due to changes in the market environment demanding for larger-sized, higher value added tyres, production capacity in terms of tyre quantity will slightly decrease in the Phase II expansion so as to enhance production of such tyres. To accommodate these Phase I and II expansions, in February 2011 the company nearly trebled the plant’s site area from 16 hectares to 46 hectares by leasing adjacent land.
YPTI was established in 1996 as a passenger car tyre export production base. At present, it manufactures passenger car and SUV tyres in 13 to 18-inch rim diameters; diameters up to 20-inches will be added by the end of 2013. In addition to exporting most of these tyres to North America, Europe and ASEAN countries, YTPI is delivering tyres to OEM customers in North America and Asia.
Capacity in Russia to reach 1.6 million
The Japanese tyre maker also stated on 14 February that it will increase annual production capacity at its Russian manufacturing and sales subsidiary, Yokohama R.P.Z. A 500 million yen (£3.4 million) will boost annual capacity from 1.4 million to 1.6 million tyres. Yokohama says the capacity increase will be achieved within the existing Yokohama R.P.Z plant and full-fledged production will begin in the autumn of 2014.
Sales of Yokohama tyres in Russia have now reached 3 million units a year, more than double the company’s current local production capacity. Yokohama has thus decided to resolve this gap as much as possible and promote local production for local consumption.
Yokohama R.P.Z. was founded in December 2008 for the purpose of serving the Russian market. The factory in the Lipetsk Special Economic Zone opened in May 2012 and now manufactures “C. drive2” passenger car tyres and studded “ice GUARD iG35” tyres in 13 to 18-inch rim diameters. While the company presently focuses on Russia, it also plans to export some products to Europe in the future.