Yokohama Tire has opened a new $5.58 million Yokohama Development Center America in North Carolina to consolidate its U.S. R&D staff for tire development.
Located in Cornelius, a town along Lake Norman about 30 miles north of Charlotte, the new center spans 25,000 square feet and will also be used to support the company’s quality assurance and technical services. It is Yokohama’s largest overseas R&D center and is expected to create 56 jobs.
“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,” says Tetsuya Kuze, executive vice president of Yokohama Tire Corporation of North America (YCNA). “…We are committed to developing new products for this market across multiple segments.”
Kuze cited Cornelius’ proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport and a skilled workforce as reasons for choosing the town.
The center replaces a temporary facility in nearby Concord the company has used since 2016.
Yokohama CEO Shinichi Takimoto noted that the company entered the U.S. market in 1969. He said the center “represents another major milestone for Yokohama in the U.S.”
The center will be led by Shoichiro (Sho) Matsuda, YCNA vice president of corporate technical. Also based at the center: Thomas Kenny, director of consumer tire development; Dan Steltmann, director of commercial tire development; and Jeremy Kahrs, director of technical service.