Hyogo, Japan –Toyo Tire Corp has set out its growth strategy for the next four years, involving production restructuring, technical development and expanding sales networks.
Toyo's planned European production centre in Serbia will play a pivotal role in fulfilling the company’s target of raising production by 8 million units per year by 2023, said the tire maker in a 9 Aug strategy document.
Scheduled for start-up by January 2022, the plant will see the production of European-destined tires transferred to Serbia from Toyo’s manufacturing unit in Japan.
In addition, the unit will contribute to the supply of high-performance tires to North America, where Toyo aims to achieve a fifth ranking position.
The production restructuring programme will also involve transferring production from manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and China to Japan to serve the local market.
In China, the tire maker expects to establish a "local production model for local consumption" and develop new products, while the Malaysian location will serve as a "global hub", the company announced.
Toyo announced in July its plans for a €390-million Serbian tire plant with the capacity to produce 5 million units of passenger and light truck radial tires by summer 2023.
Employing smart factory principles, Toyo said the unit would reinforce its competitiveness and reduce costs, in terms of logistics and raw material procurement.
Toyo also named duty-free export to the US, Europe, and Russia, preferential duties as well as capable human resources with English ability amongst the reasons for choosing Serbia for its European production centre.
Along with the new production base, a new R&D centre will start work in Willich, Germany in 2020 to support Toyo's European operations.
The centre will collect automotive/market information and ensure that high performance tires are produced in alignment with the development of new materials.
The R&D unit, Toyo said, will focus on refining high-performance technology development in Europe, through compound development, process and mixing technology as well as simulation technology and materials informatics.
In addition, Toyo is considering the establishment of a European proving ground in the near future, the company added.