Tyre giant?s acquisition good news for Australia

Goodyear announced it will invest $US250 million in upgrading the plant of its subsidiary Nippon Giant Tire (NGT) in Tatsuno, Japan to increase its global supply of OTR tyres for customers. The plant upgrades will increase NGT?s capacity to develop new manufacturing technologies and processes.

?Goodyear?s OTR tires are in high demand globally,? said Richard J Kramer, Goodyear?s 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.?

The expanded NGT facility will be fully operational in early 2014. It will begin manufacturing a full set of 57? tyres and will eventually produce 63? tyres in the long term. Goodyear has been turning out 63? tyres at its plant in Topeka, Kansas since 2010.

Dan Smytka, the president of Goodyear?s Asia-Pacific operation, said that the expansion was good news for the company?s OTR business in the region and particularly for Australia which is one of the world?s largest markets for OTR tyres.

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

Goodyear, a majority shareholder of NGT since 1985, acquired 100 per cent ownership of NGT after purchasing the shares from its joint venture partners Toyo Tire & Rubber Co Ltd and Mitsubishi Corporation for an undisclosed sum.

Sources: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company/Haystac Public Affairs Pty Ltd

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