Hyogo, Japan – Just over a week after unveiling plans for a €390 European production base, Toyo Tire Corp. has now announced a decision to establish its first European technology development site in Willich, Germany.
The North Rhine-Westphalia R&D centre is planned to begin operation this autumn with an objective of building a strong technical foundation in Europe, said Toyo in an 8 Aug statement.
The new centre, which will focus on developing products for next-generation mobility, will work in cooperation with other Toyo R&D units in the US and Japan.
Featuring a materials testing unit and chemical analysis facility, the centre will employ 10 people by 2020 to survey and evaluate raw materials, assess tires and collect market information.
With Europe being home to top-ranking carmakers, Toyo said having a base in the region would be beneficial in terms of “quality and fresh information.”
The unit will work in conjunction with the planned European production unit in Serbia to enhance Toyo's capabilities in tire compounding, production method, assessment and simulation technology.
In the future, the company said it expected to expand its European R&D function beyond the German site.
Toyo announced 30 July that it was investing €390 million to establish a “sophisticated smart tire production factory” in northern Serbia.
The plant to produce passenger car & light truck radial tires will be located in Indija City in the autonomous province of Vojvodina.
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.