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YOKOHAMA RUBBER INTEGRATES U.S. OPERATIONS

 YOKOHAMA RUBBER INTEGRATES U.S. OPERATIONS
 TOKYO, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. announced


today that its U.S. manufacturing and sales arm, Mohawk Rubber Co., and U.S. sales subsidiary, Yokohama Tire Corp., will officially merge on July 1, 1992.
 The new company will be called the Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) and will be responsible for sales, service, manufacturing and research and development activities in the United States.
 The newly formed company, to be headquartered in Fullerton, Calif., will maintain a branch office in Akron, Ohio. Mohawk's Friend Tire, SAS Rubber and Tread Rubber Divisions will become independent units run separately. All other existing YTC offices and Mohawk production facilities will be unaffected by the merger.
 Yoshimichi Hanabusa, currently president of Mohawk, has been named president and chief executive officer of YTC, while Koin (Ken) Suzuki, current head of Yokohama's U.S. sales subsidiary, will serve as executive vice president of YTC.
 Specifically, Mohawk's manufacturing capabilities and existing sales network will be combined with the current YTC product line and marketing strengths to broaden Yokohama's marketing presence in the United States. "The newly integrated YTC will be better positioned to respond efficiently to specific American market conditions and consumer needs, and will streamline administration, computer systems, distribution and customer service operations," said Hanabusa.
 Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. established its existing YTC sales arm in 1969 to promote U.S. sales activities. The company has since grown to include a network of five regional offices and, in 1991, attained net sales of $226 million.
 In October 1989, Yokohama Rubber expanded its U.S. operations to include manufacturing when it acquired Akron-based Mohawk Rubber Co. Shortly thereafter, Mohawk's Salem, Va., plant was refurbished with an $80 million investment, and local production of Yokohama brand passenger car tires for replacement and original equipment markets began. Mohawk net tire sales for 1991 reached $180 million.
 Additionally in the United States, Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. -- with the cooperation of Toyo Tire and General Tire -- formed the Mount Vernon, Ill.-based GTY Tire Co. In May 1991, GTY began production of Yokohama-brand truck and bus tires.
 Production from the current Mohawk facility, combined with sourcing from the GTY plant, will supply YTC customers with a diverse range of high quality, U.S.-produced passenger, truck and bus tires, and underscores the Yokohama globalization philosophy of local manufacturing.
 COMPANY FACT SHEET
 Corporate name: Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC)
 Date of
 establishment: July 1, 1992
 Sales: $425 million (1992 projected)
 Location: Corporate Headquarters
 601 South Acacia Avenue
 Fullerton, CA
 Branch Office
 3560 West Market St.
 Akron, OH
 Plant
 Salem, VA
 Sales Offices
 Western division (Fullerton, Calif.)
 Central division (Houston)
 Southeast division (Atlanta)
 Northeast division (Bridgeport, N.J.)
 Great Lakes division (Louisville, Ky.)
 President and
 CEO: Yoshimichi Hanabusa
 Executive vice
 president: Koin (Ken) Suzuki
 Total employees: 1,200
 -0- 4/30/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Carpenter of Yokohama Tire Corp., 714-870-3864, or Stephen Kessing of Mohawk Rubber Co., 216-666-8177, or Bob Thomas & Associates, 310-376-6978, for Yokohama Tire/ CO: Yokohama Tire Corp.; Mohawk Rubber Co.; Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. ST: California IN: AUT SU:


CH-KJ -- LA016 -- 4974 04/30/92 13:08 EDT
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Date:Apr 30, 1992
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