Yokohama Rubber Co. commences production at its Visakhapatnam plant in India. The new plant was built to expand production capacity of Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT), a Yokohama Rubber Group company engaged in the manufacturing and sale of off-highway tires (OHT).
The new plant was originally scheduled to start production in the first quarter of 2023. The earlier than planned start-up will enable YOHT to respond more quickly to the expanding global demand for OHT tires.
In his welcome address at the opening ceremony, Nitin Mantri, member of the board and managing officer of the Yokohama Rubber and head of the Group’s OHT division, said: “We are very excited with this new facility that will set a new benchmark for quality and productivity in our OHT segment. With our increased capacity, we will reduce our lead times to better serve our global customer base.”
YOHT also runs two other tire plants in India, the Dahej Plant in the state of Gujarat and the Tirunelveli Plant in Tamil Nadu. With Alliance, Galaxy and Primex, the plants produce three of the Group’s core OHT brands used on agricultural, construction, industrial and forestry machinery.
YOHT sales have been expanding faster than the overall OHT market. To meet the demand for its products, Yokohama Rubber began the construction of the Visakhapatnam Plant in the third quarter of 2020 to supplement a 1.6x expansion of production capacity at the Dahej Plant.
In its initial production stage, the Visakhapatnam Plant will have a daily capacity of 69 tons (rubber weight) that will be increased to 132 tons in the second stage planned to start in the first quarter of 2024. Further expansion of the plant’s capacity is under consideration.
Yokohama Rubber’s medium-term management plan, covering financial years 2021 to 2023, includes a commercial tire strategy that positions the Group’s OHT business as a future growth driver. The Group plans to expand its OHT business by capitalising on the strength of a multi-brand line-up that includes Yokohama, Alliance, Galaxy, Primex, and Aichi brand OHTs to develop new markets and meet diverse customer needs.
At the same time, the Group is increasing its OHT production capacity in an effort to further accelerate the strengthening of its position in the global OHT market.