AKRON, Ohio, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT) today demonstrated its commitment to its global Off-The-Road (OTR) tire business by announcing a major expansion in Japan.
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The company has acquired 100 percent 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 announced that it will invest $250 million to upgrade and expand NGT's tire manufacturing facility to increase its global supply of OTR tires 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 tires.
The plant upgrades will significantly grow NGT's capabilities by utilizing 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 tires 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 tires, as well as 63-inch tires 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."
Goodyear began production of 63-inch OTR tires at its plant in Topeka, Kansas in late 2010. The company also produces OTR tires at facilities in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Luxembourg, India, Indonesia, Thailand, South Africa and Turkey.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 53 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.
Certain information contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, that affect our operations, performance, business strategy and results and could cause our actual results and experience to differ materially from the assumptions, expectations and objectives expressed in any forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: our ability to realize anticipated savings and operational benefits from our cost reduction initiatives or to implement successfully other strategic initiatives; increases in the prices paid for raw materials and energy; pension plan funding obligations; actions and initiatives taken by both current and potential competitors; deteriorating economic conditions or an inability to access capital markets; work stoppages, financial difficulties or supply disruptions at our suppliers or customers; the adequacy of our capital expenditures; a labor strike, work stoppage or other similar event; our failure to comply with a material covenant in our debt obligations; potential adverse consequences of litigation involving the company; as well as the effects of more general factors such as changes in general market, economic or political conditions or in legislation, regulation or public policy. Additional factors are discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change.
SOURCE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company