Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has selected Bartow County as the site for its first tire manufacturing plant in the United States, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Friday via a conference call with Toyo Tire and state officals while in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where he is attending Free Trade Area of the Americas-related meetings.
According to an announcement from the governor's office, Toyo initially will employ approximately 350 workers at the Bartow plant, and expects to increase employment to as much as 900 based on future demand in the North American market.
"We are honored and delighted that Toyo Tires has chosen Bartow County as the site of their first consumer tire production plant in the United States," Mr. Perdue said in the statement. "Every company that does business in Georgia is a customer of our state, and we want to do all that we can to help their business grow and succeed."
The plant, which will be located on a 150-acre tract of land near Cartersville, will produce approximately two million passenger car and light truck tires annually. Construction is planned to begin this fall, with the first U.S.-manufactured Toyo passenger vehicle tire expected to roll off of the manufacturing line in 2006.
According to the statement, Toyo is creating a new subsidiary, Toyo Tire North America, to own and operate the plant. Shozo Kibata, currently corporate officer of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and president of Toyo Tire (USA), has been named as president of TNA, which will be headquartered in White.
Toyo will initially invest $150 million in the facility, which will consist of manufacturing and warehousing operations. The manufacturing plant will occupy less space than a conventional tire plant, due to advanced technology that Toyo will utilize to produce several product lines.
For more information, contact Lauren Curry in the governor's office at 404-651-7774 or LCurry@gov.state.ga.us.