The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has demonstrated its commitment to its global Off-The-Road (OTR) tire business by announcing a major expansion in Japan.
The company has acquired 100% ownership of its Nippon Giant Tire (NGT) subsidiary in Tatsuno, Japan. Goodyear, the majority shareholder of NGT since 1985, has purchased the shares owned by its joint venture partners, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation, for an undisclosed amount.
Additionally, Goodyear announced that it will invest $250 million to upgrade and expand NGT’s tire manufacturing facility to increase its global supply of OTR tires for key customers. The expansion will also support growth in the company’s Asia Pacific OTR business, primarily in Australia, which is one of the world’s largest markets for OTR tires.
The plant upgrades will significantly grow NGT’s capabilities by utilizing new manufacturing technologies and processes. The expanded facility is expected to be fully operational in early 2014 and increase employment at the operation to approximately 400 workers.
“Goodyear’s OTR tires are in high demand globally,” says Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. “This expansion in Japan is aligned to our Strategy Roadmap, as it will enable us to use market-back innovation to grow in one of our targeted market segments, the global OTR business.”
This investment will enable NGT to manufacture a full line of 57-inch tires, as well as 63-inch tires at a future date, says Dan Smytka, president of Goodyear’s Asia Pacific region.
“The time is right for us to increase our presence in OTR in Asia Pacific,” says Smytka. “We are proud of our achievements and will continue to build on the strong momentum accelerated by this expansion.”
Goodyear began production of 63-inch OTR tires at its plant in Topeka, Kansas in late 2010. The company also produces OTR tires at facilities in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Luxembourg, India, Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa and Turkey.