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Japanese Tire Company to Locate First U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Bartow County

Friday, June 4, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. has selected Bartow County as the site for its first tire manufacturing plant in the United States.  Governor Perdue joined company, state, and local officials via a conference call from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where he is attending FTAA-related meetings.  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," said Governor Sonny Perdue.  "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 facility's leading-edge technology will make it among the most advanced in the world. The plant, which will be located on a 150-acre tract of land near Cartersville, GA, 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.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to serve our North American customers from our new manufacturing base in Bartow County, Georgia," said Yoshio Kataoka, president and CEO of Toyo. 

Toyo is creating a new subsidiary, Toyo Tire North America (TNA), to own and operate the plant. Mr. 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, GA. 

Georgia 's Quick Start program will work with Toyo officials to design and conduct training in those fields related to computer operation and troubleshooting of advanced manufacturing systems. 

Toyo will initially invest 150 million dollars 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 the advanced technology that Toyo will utilize to produce several product lines.  In addition to general passenger tires, Toyo produces innovative specialty and high-performance tires.