Toyo Tire breaks ground on Georgia plant expansion

Article by Anita Panait, on December 10, 2013

Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing, Inc. (TNA) has broken ground on a 700,000-square foot expansion to its current 2,000,000-square foot tire manufacturing plant in White, Georgia.

The warehouse portion of the site will also receive a 323,000-square feet expansion to cater to the increasing demand for Toyo Tires and Nitto brand premium light truck and passenger car tires. Parent Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, is making a $371-million investment in the TNA expansion over the next four years, which should result in the creation of 650 new jobs.

The TNA manufacturing facility, which first broke ground in 2004, features a proprietary automated production system called A.T.O.M. (Advanced Tire Operation Module). The site built its first tire in early 2006 when TNA just had 81 workers. Since then, the site underwent three expansion projects, which led to doubling its size. It now employs more than 1,000 workers.

In September 2013, TNA got its certification to the latest ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Systems. On November 27, 2013, the manufacturing facility reached a milestone by producing its 20,000,000th tire. “We are proud to manufacture tires for North America, on North American soil,” said TNA president Jim Hawk.

He said that the plant plays an important role in supporting consumers and dealers, as demand for their products continues to grow. Gracing the ground breaking ceremony along with Hawk is Nathan Deal, Governor of the State of Georgia.

Assisting the Toyo Tire expansion was the Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority, Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD)’s Director of International Projects Scott McMurray and GDEcD Project Manager of Existing Industry and Regional Recruitment Carl Campbell.

Just last month, it was reported that Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. reached an agreement to plead guilty to price-fixing charges in the United States as well as pay a $120-million criminal fine for its function in conspiracies involving auto parts. Toyo has also reached an agreement to cooperate with the probe while it continues, the Unoted States Department of Justice said in a statement.

Toyo supplied auto anti-vibration rubber parts to Japanese companies Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. The charges, which were filed in US District Court in Toledo, Ohio, alleged that Toyo and co-conspirators are involved in the price-fixing conspiracy from March 1996 until at least May 2012. Toyo likewise agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices of constant velocity joint boots sold to GKN Plc and to cooperate with the investigation.

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