YOKOHAMA TIRES INVESTING P728-MILLION IN CLARKClark Field, May 13, 2003 -- The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., recently announced it will invest P728 million to its unit with manufacturing facilities at the Clark Special Economic Zone. Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc., will upgrade its facilities to increase production by 25 percent, YTPI president Seiji Andrei Takai told Clark Development Corp. president Emmanuel Y. Angeles. The expansion program will start this month, increasing production from two million tires a year to 2.5 million. Yokohama will increase production of 16-inch and large high-performance car tires and of recreational vehicle tires to meet growing demand in the international market. The Clark tire firm is currently manufacturing passenger tires of 13-to-16 inches. By year-end, 16 inch and larger models and recreational vehicle tires should account for about 30 percent of production. The upgrade will entail the construction of new facilities on that company's current property. Yokohama in Clark was established in April 1996, with full production peak being reached in January 1998 and has been profitable since. The new facilities will also feature highly efficient production lines that simply categorize models and sizes. About 90 percent of its production is exported to Europe, the Middle East, and other ASEAN nations. The remaining production is supplied for the aftermarket and Japanese automakers in the country. Takai also said the Yokohama has about 560 workers inside the zone. Angeles said the Yokohama expansion program is a manifestation of continued progress and the investor's confidence in the sound business policies being implemented inside the zone. More are expected to expand operations this year such as the biggest air cargo delivery United Parcel Service (UPS), Cyber Teleservices Inc., Luen Thai Philippines (LNT Phils.) and several manufacturing firms due to the improved operations generated last year, Angeles stressed.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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