Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (YRC) and Continental A.G. have agreed to terminate their Yokohama Continental Tire Co. Ltd. (YCTC) joint venture company, effective at the end of March.
The companies formed YCTC in 2002 to address Japanese and South Korean car makers’ requirement of global procurement, Yokohama said, but as both firms’ global production networks have grown, the joint venture’s primary purpose has been achieved.
As a result, both companies will look after their own business interests separately.
Separately, Yokohama said it would leverage its proprietary global production network to expand its overseas OE business further — which is one of the key goals of Phase IV of the tire maker’s Grand Design 100 medium-term management plan.
In particular, YRC said it has targeted a fourfold increase in OE fitments in markets outside of Japan from 2014 to 2020, sourcing tires from plants in China, Thailand, the Philippines and Russia while also supplying Japanese auto makers with OE tires for export models.
Tansu Isik, head of Conti’s OE passenger tire business in Asia/Pacific, said YCTC “enabled us to establish a solid foundation for our original equipment business with Japanese and Korean vehicle manufacturers during the last 14 years,” but that starting April 1 it would “entirely support Japanese and Korean OE customers on our own….”
Conti operates five tire plants in the APAC region — in Hefei, China; Modipuram, India; Kalutara, Sri Lanka; and Alor Setar and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The company did not disclose its tire business sales in Asia/Pacific.