Goodyear Buys Toyo, Mitsubishi JV Shares, Plans Upgrade - Tire Review Magazine

Goodyear Buys Toyo, Mitsubishi JV Shares, Plans Upgrade

On May 31, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. acquired 100% ownership of Nippon Giant Tire (NGT) in Tatsuno, Japan, an OTR tire joint venture the company had operated with Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. since 1985.

The mutually agreed-upon purchase, which was made for an undisclosed amount, brings Goodyear’s ownership of NGT to 100%; formerly, the tiremaker held a 65% share, while Toyo and Mitsubishi owned 30% and 5% shares, respectively.
    
Upon its purchase of NGT, which was established for the manufacture and distribution of OTR tires, Goodyear announced plans to invest $250 million to upgrade and expand the subsidiary’s tire manufacturing facility to increase its global supply of OTR tires for key customers. The expansion also will support growth in the company’s Asia Pacific OTR business, primarily in Australia, which is one of the world’s largest markets for OTR tires, the tiremaker noted.

The expanded facility is expected to be fully operational in early 2014; employment at the operation will increase to approximately 400 workers.

"Goodyear’s OTR tires are in high demand globally," said Rich Kramer, chairman and CEO. "This expansion in Japan is aligned to our Strategy Roadmap, as it will enable us to use market-back innovation to grow in one of our targeted market segments, the global OTR business."

The investment will enable NGT to manufacture a full line of 57-inch tires, as well as 63-inch tires at a future date, said Dan Smytka, president of Goodyear’s Asia Pacific region.

"The time is right for us to increase our presence in OTR in Asia Pacific," said Smytka. "We are proud of our achievements and will continue to build on the strong momentum accelerated by this expansion."

Goodyear began production of 63-inch OTR tires at its plant in Topeka, Kan., in late 2010. The company also produces OTR tires at facilities in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Luxembourg, India, Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa and Turkey.

Toyo stated the sale was “mutual,” and was made to “further the goals of Toyo Tires’ Mid-Term Business Plan 2011 (announced May 10, 2011), the decision was made to further concentrate its business resources towards growth and strategic markets.”

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