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Jul. 11, 2002

Development of High-Performance Tires Using New Tire Manufacturing Technology

OSAKA,JAPAN- July 11, 2002-TOYO TIRE & RUBBER Co., Ltd. hereby announces that the company has developed high-performance tires by using a new tire manufacturing technology based on a combination of the new tire production method recently developed by Fuji Seiko Co., Ltd, with our own tire new technologies, under certain assistances of development from Toyota Motor Corporation.

The tires developed with this new tire manufacturing technology feature a lightweight, high-rigidity, high-quality and high-precision, and designed to employ high-rigidity structure and a new reinforced composition, as well as accurate shape control and new materials (new polymer rubber compound, steel cord, textile cord, etc.). The new technology enables Toyo Tire to precision-design high-performance tires, providing excellent driving stability and superior riding comfort with extra quietness.

The new method developed by Fuji Seiko employs an innovative, seamless production system in a compact manufacturing approach designed for high precision and productivity, and uses a modular system that directly connects all processes.

Having received performance approval from Toyota for tires developed based on the new manufacturing technology, Toyo Tire will start commercial production of the new tires in this summer.

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. announced today that the company has successfully developed a new high-performance tire utilizing a completely revolutionary manufacturing method, reported by Yoshio Kataoka, president.

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. announced today that the company has successfully developed a new high-performance tire utilizing a completely revolutionary manufacturing method, reported by Yoshio Kataoka, president.

1. Development History

About 10 years ago, Toyo Tire decided that maintaining the cost-competitiveness of Japan’s manufacturing industry well into the 21st century would require a carefully planned two-pronged approach:

(1) Reforms that would achieve a “21st century manufacturing system” capable of surviving in an age where the exchange rate is 80 yen to the US dollar

(2) Urgent strengthening of the company’s domestic Japanese production bases To accomplish these goals would necessitate radically transforming the entire concept of tire manufacturing, pioneering evolution of the production system, and markedly enhancing the level of tire performance. This was the starting point for development of our new tire manufacturing technology.


2.

Strengthening Core Technologies

Toyo Tire positions this evolutionary manufacturing system the most crucial tasks as one of its core technologies to be strengthened would be achieved for a “21st century manufacturing system”. In order to strengthen them company-wide, the following four-point critical action plan was formulated:

1. Reorganization of company’s entire technological organization

2. Strengthening of core technologies for rubber materials

3. Strengthening of core technologies for polyurethane and high-moleculor-polymers

4. Centralized management of technologies throughout the company


3.

Toyo Tire & Rubber’s Development of New Tire Manufacturing Technology

Toyo Tire believes that its new tire manufacturing technology provides the technological foundation needed to compete on an equal footing with the world’s major tire manufacturers. By enabling the manufacture of products with significantly higher performance and precision, the new tire manufacturing technology will provide customers with exceptional added value.

– - To achieve all that a “21st century manufacturing system” entails ? from new technologies, new markets and new customers to the development of new products ? Toyo Tire is innovatively pursuing a new production concept that will encompass everything from product development and marketing to qualitative strengthening of our production base.

– - The top priority of new technology development is to maximize customer satisfaction by matching the best tire to the best car. We hope to achieve this goal by:

(1) Developing high-quality, high-precision tires with a competitive edge

(2). Expanding our marketing by targeting new markets and new customers both in Japan and overseas

(3) Proceeding from a strengthened domestic Japanese production bases to the early completion of a customer-oriented SCM .


TOYO TIRE & RUBBER CO., LTD. CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS PLANNING
Osaka Head office Telephone: +81-72-789-9100 Facsimile: +81-72-773-3272
Tokyo office Telephone: +81-3-5822-6621 Facsimile: +81-3-3865-2240

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