Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (CEO: Ikuji Ikeda) is pleased to announce that our group’s new USA Technical Center, which we have been preparing for some time in order to more rapidly develop products that respond to the needs of customers in North and South America, will be fully operational from January of 2017.
Since gaining a much greater degree of freedom to conduct business in North America and Europe with the dissolution of our Global Alliance with Goodyear last October, the Sumitomo Rubber Group has been moving forward with active efforts to enhance our R&D, production and sales infrastructure to better serve these markets. As part of these efforts, we have constructed on the grounds of our USA Factory (Location: Tonawanda, New York) a new USA Technical Center, which will become fully operational in January of 2017. In addition, in March of 2017, we will also begin evaluating tires for four-wheel vehicles at our USA Tire Test Course, which has until now been used solely for motorcycle tire testing. With these enhancements to our US-based R&D and testing infrastructure, we will complete the framework for the rapid development and timely launch of tires that appeal to customers in North and South America by better responding to their needs. Meanwhile, we are also moving forward with the preparations for a Europe Technical Center, which we plan to have fully operational from September of 2017.
Through these and other efforts, the Sumitomo Rubber Group will accelerate our “Business Expansion in North America and Europe”—one of our Action Plans under our “VISION 2020” Long-Term Vision—as we continue moving forward with the further global growth and development of our group.