Yokohama

News Room

Yokohama Tire Corporation Celebrates 40th Anniversary in U.S.

November 23, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Bill Groak, PCGCampbell, 310/224-4940, bgroak@pcgcampbell.com

FULLERTON, CA (Nov. 23, 2009) – On November 24, 1969, Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) opened its doors in Los Angeles, California. Forty years later, after launching industry standard-setting tread designs, performance tires and the world’s first eco-conscious orange oil-infused tire, YTC remains at the forefront of tire innovation. Now, the company asserts its technological strengths more than ever to make products of utmost advancements while protecting the environment, according to Takao Oishi, YTC president and CEO.

“Consistent with the Grand Design 100 plan by our parent company, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. in Japan, our philosophy in the U.S. is to embrace corporate social responsibility with a focus on a triple bottom line,” Oishi said. “This triple bottom line consists of the economy, society and environment. Specific to environmental stewardship, we are affecting positive changes in our manufacturing processes, materials and product performance. Our overall corporate goal is to deliver the best products at competitive prices and on time while minimizing impact to our planet.”

Prime examples of Yokohama’s successful blend of technology and environmentalism is its orange-oil-based dB Super E-spec™ passenger tire, which went on sale in the U.S. in July 2009. Additionally in 2009, the ADVAN® ENV-R1™ orange oil race tire debuted. The ADVAN ENV-R1 returns in 2010 as the Official Spec Tire of the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama race series.

“Indeed, performance is in the DNA of Yokohama’s heritage,” Oishi remarked. “In the U.S. and abroad, Yokohama is recognized for its ultra high-performance tires, especially the iconic ADVAN® brand, which YTC began selling in the U.S. in 2005. YTC launched its newest member of the ADVAN family, the Neova® AD08, in May 2009.”

“Our ADVAN line and other performance tires have been one of the keys to our success in the U.S.,” Oishi continued. “We are celebrating 40 successful years here and we have never compromised on performance and never will. Our customers demand it.”

Among the many highlights of YTC’s 40 years in the U.S. include:

- 1969: Yokohama Tire Corporation is founded, opens headquarters in Los Angeles, California

- 1982: YTC introduces the A008 asymmetric tread pattern to the U.S.

- 1986: YTC moves to its current headquarters in Fullerton, California

- 1989: YTC acquires the Mohawk Rubber Company, providing an essential manufacturing facility in the U.S.

- 1994: YTC’s motorsports program is in full gear, garnering triple championships in Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours Le Mans

- 1996: Geolandar H/T® tire introduced for light trucks and SUVs

- 1997: AVID ® passenger car tire line debuts

- 2000: YTC opens distribution center in Auburn, Georgia. Today, YTC has four distribution centers stretched across the U.S.

- 2003: YTC becomes the Official Tire of Infineon Raceway. YTC is also the Official Tire of Road Atlanta and Sebring

- 2005: ADVAN line of ultra high-performance tires introduced to U.S. market; YTC becomes Official Tire of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

- 2006: YTC named Official Tire of the LA Auto Show; S.drive® and Parada Spec-X® tires introduced

- 2007: Zenvironment™ commercial tire line launched; YTC’s Salem plant earns ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification; YTC’s Jim MacMaster elected chairman of Rubber Manufacturers Association

- 2008: Orange oil-infused dB Super E-spec™ wins Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award

- 2009: Three YTC commercial truck tires awarded EPA’s SmartWay® approval for their ability to reduce transportation-related emissions

- Two eco-friendly orange oil tires introduced to U.S. market: the dB Super E-spec passenger tire (went on sale in July) and the ADVAN® ENV-R1™ race tire, the Official Spec Tire of the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama race series.

Yokohama Tire Corporation 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. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ - the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Safety” section at www.yokohamatire.com.