Tokyo – Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI) has announced plans to invest Yen10.1 billion (€79.6 million) to increase production capacity at its US tire factory.
The move is largely in response to increased demand driven by strong sales of our high-performance tires for SUVs and light trucks in the North American market, said a 9 Feb statement.
Under a $96-million project at the unit in Tonowanda, New York, SRI will raise maximum output of these tire categories from the current 6,500 tires per day to 12,000 tires per day by the end of 2023.
Strong demand has also prompted SRI to invest $26 million to up production capacity of truck and bus tires at the US plant, from the current 1,750 tires per day to 2,300 tires per day by the end of 2024.
As well as increasing production capacity, SRI said the investments would also improve overall productivity at the US factory over the coming years.
Despite the market impact of Covid-19, SRI said it had continued to steadily expand sales of high-performance Falken-brand tires in North America.
The US investment, it added, “also reflects our great confidence in the factory, which has made enormous progress in improving productivity over the past few years.
“By augmenting our local production base for the North American market, we aim to reduce sales lead times so that we may further expand sales in this key market.”
Meanwhile, the Japanese group is investing Yen10.8 billion to update equipment at factories in Thailand and Japan for increased production of tires for SUVs and light trucks.
SRI aims to produce 4,150 of these tires per day by the end of 2023 at its Thai plant in Amati City and 1,600 units/day at its Miyazaki, Japan plant, by the end of 2024.
“With this shift, these two factories will support our push to increase sales of SUV and light truck tires in North America,” said the group statement.