Production has started at Yokohama Rubber’s newly constructed Visakhapatnam Plant in India as the company expands the production capacity of Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT), a subsidiary focused on OHTs for agricultural, forestry, construction, and industrial vehicles.
The plant was scheduled to begin production in 2023, but the earlier start date will enable YOHT to respond to a growing global demand for its products.
Construction of the Visakhapatnam Plant began in the third quarter of 2020 to supplement a 1.6x expansion of the production capacity at the Dahej Plant. Initially, the Visakhapatnam Plant will have a daily capacity of 69 tons (rubber weight); this will increase to 132 tons in the second stage in the first quarter of 2024.
An opening ceremony was held on August 16, attended by Jagan Mohan Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, the Indian state where the plant is situated. Also in attendance was Masayuki Taga, consul general of Japan in Chennai, and Nitin Mantri, a member of the board and managing officer of Yokohama Rubber and head of the OHT division.
“We are very excited with this best-in-class facility that will set a new benchmark for quality and productivity in the OHT segment,” commented Mantri. “With our increased capacity we will reduce our lead times to better serve our global customer base.”
YOHT has two other tire plants in India; the Dahej Plant in the state of Gujarat and the Tirunelveli Plant in Tamil Nadu. These facilities produce three of the company’s core OHT brands, the Alliance, Galaxy and Primex.