FULLERTON, Calif., April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) today signed an agreement to build a commercial truck tire plant in West Point, Mississippi. The facility, which is expected to produce one million tires starting in 2015, will have an initial capital investment of $300 million and potential plant expansions could reach up to four times the original employment and investment levels.
"This is a historic day for Yokohama," said Hikomitsu Noji, president and representative director of The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., YTC's parent company in Japan. "Since our entry into the U.S. market over 40 years ago, along with the subsequent acquisition of our plant in Salem, Virginia in the 1980s, Yokohama has been on a continual growth. Now we will build a factory in the United States for the first time. It re-affirms our commitment to the North American market and to the continued mutual success of Yokohama and its business partner - our dealers. I'd like to thank Gov. Phil Bryant and the State of Mississippi for their dedication in bringing this to fruition. I'd like to thank Mississippi as well for a very warm welcome."
Noji, along with Gov. Bryant and officials from the state, participated in today's signing ceremony at the West Point Ritz near the site of the future company plant, about 149 miles from Jackson, MS, the state capitol.
"I am honored Yokohama has selected our state for its newest U.S. tire manufacturing facility," said Gov. Bryant. "This new plant will have a tremendous impact on the Golden Triangle region and on our state as a whole, and I welcome this highly-respected company to Mississippi and look forward to our partnership in the years to come."
"Yokohama's decision to locate in West Point is a testament to our eager and hard-working community," said Joe Higgins, Chief Executive Officer for the Golden Triangle Development LINK. "We're thrilled to welcome them to the Golden Triangle and look forward to a long, successful relationship."
"West Point and Mississippi offer the optimal mix of cost and operating conditions advantages that Yokohama is seeking to achieve," said Darin Buelow, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of Deloitte's Real Estate & Location Strategy practice.
The plant will be built on over 500 acres of land with construction expected to begin in September and completion two years later. Yokohama expects to hire approximately 500 employees to work at the facility.
Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes the all-new AVID((R)) Ascend((TM))- the first mass-market tire using Yokohama's breakthrough orange oil technology - as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.
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Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the "Tire Safety" section at www.yokohamatire.com.
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