PHILIPPINES: Yokohama Tires breaks ground for expansion

Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc. (YTPI) broke ground on Monday for the P27 billion expansion of its manufacturing plant at Clark Freeport.

With the expansion, YTPI's production will rise to 17 million tires a year (50,000 tires per day) by 2017 against the current production of 7 million tires a year (21,000 tires/day).

The expansion will also increase job opportunities in the community, raising the working population to 5,000 employees by 2017.

A portion of the first plant expansion will be operated in 2013. The expanded area will be fully utilized by 2014.

With YTPI's plant expansion, 28.2 hectares will be added to its original 16.5 hectare site.

YTPI's mother company in Japan has allocated 50 billion yen (P27 billion) for the plant expansion.

The expansion in the Philippines is part of the third phase of YTPI's Grand Design 100 (GD 100), the medium-term management plan set for 2012.

Established in April 30, 1996, YTPI is the first international company to set up in the Clark Freeport.

Tires manufactured in Clark are exported mostly to Europe, North America and Asean countries.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)