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Goodyear grows OTR business with expansion in Japan

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is growing its global Off-The-Road (OTR) tyre business with a major expansion in Japan.

The company has acquired 100 per cent ownership of its Nippon Giant Tire (NGT) subsidiary in Tatsuno, Japan. Goodyear, the majority shareholder of NGT since 1985, has purchased the shares owned by its joint venture partners, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation, for an undisclosed amount.

Additionally, Goodyear will invest $250 million to upgrade and expand NGT’s tyre manufacturing facility to increase its global supply of OTR tyres for key customers. The expansion will also support growth in the company’s Asia Pacific OTR business, primarily in Australia, which is one of the world’s largest markets for OTR tyres.

The plant upgrades will significantly grow NGT’s capabilities by utilising new manufacturing technologies and processes. The expanded facility is expected to be fully operational in early 2014 and increase employment at the operation to approximately 400 workers.

“Goodyear’s OTR tyres are in high demand globally,” said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. “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.”

This investment will enable NGT to manufacture a full line of 57-inch tyres, as well as 63-inch tyres 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.”