SANTA ANA, Calif. — Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has officially opened its new tire research and development facility – the Yokohama Development Center America (YDCA) – in Cornelius, North Carolina.
Local officials joined Yokohama executives for the ribbon-cutting festivities.
The high- tech, 25,000 square foot building in Mecklenburg County replaces the temporary R&D office Yokohama has utilized in Concord, North Carolina since 2016.
“In 1969 – almost 50 years ago – Yokohama entered the U.S. market and since then our name has been associated with quality, technology and innovation,” said Shinichi Takimoto, president & CEO of Yokohama Tire Corporation of North America (YCNA), and chairman & CEO of YTC. “This will continue with YDCA, which represents another major milestone for Yokohama in the United States.
“The opening of YDCA is another example of our continued investment in North America,” said Tetsuya Kuze, executive vice president of YCNA. “We are committed to developing new products for this market across multiple segments.”
The Cornelius facility will consolidate separate R&D staffs currently operating at a number of locations throughout the U.S. and will be led by Shoichiro (Sho) Matsuda, YCNA vice president of corporate technical.
“Our primary focus here will be tire development,” Matsuda said. “We will also support other technical groups such as quality assurance and technical services.”
Thomas Kenny, director of consumer tire development, Dan Steltmann, director of commercial tire development, and Jeremy Kahrs, director of technical service, will all be based out of the company’s new location.
Kuze said the U.S. Development Center is Yokohama’s largest overseas R&D center in both functions and number of employees.
“Consolidating our R&D activities will strengthen our R&D structure and further accelerate our ability to deliver new products that meet the demands of the market. Cornelius is a great fit for our company,” Kuze said. “The proximity to the airport and the skilled workforce is going to make this facility very successful.”
“Yokohama’s expansion in Cornelius is a great win for our community,” said Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam. “This is an excellent example of how the town has worked to add additional tax base and high-quality jobs.”
Yokohama Tire Corp. is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917.
For more information on Yokohama’s broad product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.
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