Yokohama establishes motorsport company
In future, Yokohama’s motorsport activities will be handled by a new company specifically set up for that purpose. On 1 April, Yokohama Rubber established Yokohama Motorsports International Co., Ltd., a company specialised in governing the development, supply and overall activities related to its racing tyres. The new operation is headed up by Tetsuya Kuze, who has been appointed president of Yokohama Motorsports International. Kuze also serves as a director and corporate officer at Yokohama Rubber. The Tokyo-based company will be fully operational as of July and employ approximately 20 people.
“In order to strengthen its tyre technological development capability and promote tyre sales, Yokohama Rubber is actively unfolding motorsports activities in Japan and overseas,” wrote Yokohama in a statement announcing the new company’s launch. “In recent years in particular, the company has been enhancing tyre supply to and support activity for races and rallies held in Europe, North America and Asia, including Super GT series in Japan and FIA World Touring Car Championship, so as to make Yokohama rooted as a global brand.”
Prior to the establishment of Yokohama Motorsports International, Yokohama Rubber engaged in motorsports activities through two separate divisions: its technology division, which plans, develops and designs racing tyres suited to racing conditions, and its planning division, which takes responsibility for negotiation and contract with race organisers and teams, circuit events and public relations/advertisement activities. The two divisions are now integrated into Yokohama Motorsports International; the Japanese tyre maker says the new business represents a “stronger, streamlined organisation able to make quicker decisions.”
Yokohama Motorsports International is responsible for planning, developing and designing racing tyres and taking responsibility for negotiation and contracting with racing organisers and teams and for the supply of racing tyres, in the form of commissioned work from Yokohama Rubber. Further ahead, the new company plans to expand its business by providing expert technology and knowhow through the development of consumer tyres based on racing tyre technology and the proposal on international motorsports plans highly effective in information development.