Geneva, Switzerland--Yokohama Rubber is integrating its top brands around the world under the Advan name. Yokohama will use the Yokohama Advan name on its best tyres in the replacement, sport and Original Equipment markets in every region of the world, according to Kazuyoshi Sekiguchi, marketing manager in Yokohama's European office. Advan will be used in conjunction with the Yokohama name for the foreseeable future, said Sekiguchi.
Sekiguchi said Yokohama has been using the Advan name in Japan for over 25 years, but only in the motorsport sector. In Europe, the company has been using the AVS (for Advanced Vehicle System) and the company has also used the DNA logo in other parts of the world. He added that the public will now have a clear signifier that an Advan tyre sold anywhere in the world and into any sector will be at the pinnacle of Yokohama's knowledge and design capability.
In Europe, he said, the company sold about 3.5 million tyres in 2004, and has a target to increase this to 10 million units by 2010.
Sekiguchi added that the company is building a plant in a car tyre factory in the Philippines; a truck/bus factory in Thailand and is building two tyre factories in China. In Hangzhou, the company is building a car tyre plant, and the company is also building a truck/bus plant elsewhere in China.
Sekiguchi said the company would continue to make high performance tyres in Japan and ship them around the world from that country. The factories in lower-cost countries would make lower-performance tyres, he said.
Sekiguchi did not rule out the possibility of building a factory in EUrope,but said if Yokohama did build in Europe, it would be for lower performance tyres. He said the investment is currently under consideration.