Hyogo, Japan – Toyo Tire Corp. is investing €390 million to establish a "sophisticated smart tire production factory" in northern Serbia, the company has announced.
The plant to produce passenger car & light truck radial tires will be located in Indija City in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Toyo said in a 30 July statement.
The Japanese company expects to begin the construction work at the site by May 2020 and to start tire production by January 2022.
The facility will ramp up production to reach its full capacity of 5 million units per annum by summer 2023.
Toyo will employ IoT (Internet of things) at the factory to achieve “a new level of competitive manufacturing.”
The Serbian factory, it added, will and offer “differentiated and highly added value products for luxury passenger vehicles.”
The Japanese tire maker plans to establish an as-of-yet unnamed European subsidiary in Belgrade by September.
The project is in line with Toyo’s “2017 mid-term plan”, which envisages a new manufacturing platform with a focus on sustainable growth in 2020 and onwards.
Toyo Tire is currently supplying tires for the European and Russian markets from factories in Japan and Malaysia.
The company said it selected Serbia for its highly skilled workforce and comparatively low wages, as well as the increasing automotive investments in the country.
This is the second major investment by a tire maker in Serbia in less than a year.
China’s Shandong Linglong Tire Co started building a $994.4 million (€863 million) tire production plant in the Zrenjanin Free Trade Zone in Serbia earlier in April.
In a 6-year project, to be completed in three phases, Linglong expects to produce 13.62 million high-performance radial tires per year at the Serbian site.