Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., plans to construct a $300 million plant to manufacture truck and bus tires in West Point, Mississippi, with an annual production capacity of 1 million tires.
Under the company’s plan, the construction will begin this September, with tire production starting in October 2015. The company said in the North American market, including the U.S. and Canada, YOKOHAMA brand TB tires are highly regarded, because of the products’ superior retreading capability and fuel efficiency.
Yokohama Rubber has been providing tires to the North American market through GTY Tire Company, a U.S. joint venture company specialized in manufacturing TB tires, and through export from Japan and Thailand. Yokohama Rubber however said “it considered it necessary to build the new plant to accommodate the increasingly growing demand for its brand and further strengthen a system aimed at local production for local consumption”.
The new plant, slated for construction on more than 500-acres, represents Phase I of Yokohama’s overall plan for the site. Potential expansions could increase the original business size up to 4 times in scale, in accordance with future business growth, the company said.
Gov. Phil Bryant thanked the Mississippi State Legislature for passing an incentive package during a special session, “designed to assist Mississippi’s newest business partner, Yokohama Tire Corporation, as the company prepares to locate its second U.S. tire manufacturing plant in West Point. We would also not be here today without the overwhelming support of the City and County elected officials and the Golden Triangle Development LINK.”
The state will initially provide $70 million to the company to purchase property and make infrastructure improvements. Additional incentives will be provided as the company expands its plant in phases. The city of West Point, Clay County and other local agencies also provided incentives, including property tax abatements and sales tax exemptions.
“This is an historic day for Mississippi, and we are proud to welcome this world-leader in tire manufacturing to our great state. The passing of this legislation will result initially in 500 new jobs, with the potential to create up to 2,000 total jobs, and it will have a positive impact on the state’s economy for years to come,” the Governor said.