Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. is pleased to announce that, in order to respond to increased demand driven by strong sales of our high-performance tires for SUVs and light trucks in the North American market, our group has decided to invest in increasing production capacity for passenger car tires and light truck tires at our factory in the United States. With a planned investment of 96 Million USD (Approx. 10.1 Billion JPY*), this capacity increase will see the factory’s daily maximum output in these tire categories increase from the current 6,500 tires per day to 12,000 tires per day by the end of 2023. At the same time, in response to increasing sales of truck and bus tires in North America, we have also decided to invest 26 Million USD (Approx. 2.7 Billion JPY*) to increase production capacity in these categories at our USA Factory from the current 1,750 tires per day to 2,300 tires per day by the end of 2024. All told, we are planning to invest a total of 122 Million USD (Approx. 12.8 Billion JPY*) in order to augment production capacity and improve overall productivity at our factory in the United States over the coming years.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, global demand for tires has declined sharply and is not expected to recover to pre-COVID levels until 2022 at the earliest. Nevertheless, the Sumitomo Rubber Group has continued to steadily expand sales of our FALKEN WILDPEAK Series and other high-performance tires in the North American market under our world-renowned FALKEN brand. Our decision to invest in augmenting production capacity at our USA Factory is not only in response to strong sales, but also reflects our great confidence in the factory, which has made enormous progress in improving productivity over the past few years. By augmenting our local production base for the North American market, we aim to reduce sales lead times so that we may further expand sales in this key market.
In addition to augmenting production capacity at our factory in the United States, the Sumitomo Rubber Group is also investing in updating production equipment at our factories in Thailand and Miyazaki (Japan) in order to shift toward increased overall production of tires for SUVs and light trucks. With this shift, these two factories will support our push to increase sales of SUV and light truck tires in North America by producing 4,150 of these tires per day by the end of 2023 (Thailand) and 1,600 of these tires per day by the end of 2024 (Miyazaki). The total value of our planned investment in these two factories is 10.8 Billion JPY.
One of the key pillars of our Midterm Plan is “Developing & Promoting Sales of Advanced Products,” and these investments in augmenting production capacity and productivity are a major step toward further accelerating these efforts.