Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT) specializes in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of Agriculture, Forestry, Construction, Industrial, Earthmoving, Mining, Port and other commercial tires. YOHT owns the world-renowned brands Alliance, Galaxy and Primex and is present in over 120 countries. The company has a diverse portfolio including more than 4000 SKU’s, a network of 7 plants in three countries and research and development facilities in Japan, India and the USA. They are well-known for their ability to offer customers, both aftermarket and OEM, with superior quality application-specific and purpose-built tires. Their entrepreneurial spirit and rich tire knowledge allow them to create customized products for each requirement. This way, the company can help customers get the maximum value without compromising on quality. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? YOHT: Agriculture, Forestry and Construction & Industrial. We are especially strong in our Agricultural segment and are radial tractor tire specialists foremost. Our features include innovative technology with high traction, longevity, and great roadability – in all available sizes. Our activities range from pioneering flotation tires to IF and VF technology, as we manufacture tires for every machine and job on the farm with the widest range of tires. Our lineup exists of tractor tires, combines, sprayers, spreaders, agri-transport and row crop machinery. Furthermore, in our Foresty segment, we offer one of the industry’s largest range of tires which are built to deliver a maximum performance under the most extreme conditions – while understanding the segment’s challenging demands. This includes mud, snow, stumps and rocks combined with high loads, uneven grounds and endless puncture and bead hazards. Our forestry tires deliver unbeatable traction and offer soil protection against long-term damage. And finally, in Construction and Industrial we offer a range of applications for any challenging environment: rugged construction, special thread compounds and a variety of lug designs. Our special construction features like heavy-duty rim guards, reinforced sidewalls and steel reinforced carcasses take our tires to a whole next level. E.E: What’s the news about new products? YOHT: We introduced two key products within the important tractor radial sector last year: Alliance Agri Star ll and the 372 Agriflex+. Since we will not be having major launches comparable to these two, 2022 will all be about evolution. Therefore, our focus will be on additional sizes that reinforce existing ranges. E.E: What are the ranges of products? YOHT: In regards to our three brands: Alliance has a range of over 1000 specialised tires, with each product being carefully engineered keeping the latest technology in mind. Maximising profits and focusing on pioneering and technology is key for this brand. Alliance’s strength absolutely lies in its radial tractor tires with features such as innovative technology, a long life and amazing roadability. The brand is also the market leader in Row Crop and a pioneer in Flotation tires. It boasts a very comprehensive line-up of tires for tractors, sprayers and spreaders. It offers the widest range in terms of prices, sizes and patterns, which are available for various agricultural and industrial applications. Our Galaxy brand offers purpose-built high performance tires that provide superior performance, longevity and exceptional value – absolute musts for construction terrains. Galaxy’s range of Skid Steer and Contract Utility tires are a popular choice with leading OEMs and aftermarket users. Primex tires are built for the toughest terrains and its advanced series of forestry tires provide everything from superior traction to penetration protection and longevity. They are preferred in tropical forests, the thick tundra and the Alpine forests equally. They are also the preferred choice for log-skidders, harvesters, forwarders and forestry tractors. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? YOHT: We have a very strong network of distributors in the European markets for over 60+ years and Alliance is well established in the market. We have been growing steadily with them and our customers can proudly say that today Alliance and Galaxy are leaders in the off-highway tire segment. And also, despite the pandemic, we saw unprecedented demand in almost every corner of the world across multiple sectors: agri, industrial etc. Our manufacturing plants and our teams worked timeously to keep up with our customer demand as much as they could. A fair chunck of this demand comes from the agricultural sector. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? YOHT: Sustainability remains one of the most important trends. Our YOHT products are very sensitive to farmer needs and we have a technology team working very closely with them providing advanced technical solutions to improve their productivity and enabling them to do more from existing recourses. Our designs always come from a sustainability perspective with a high focus on the perseveration of environmental ecosystems, the promotion of economic stability and the bettering of their quality of produce and life. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? YOHT: The two undisputed highlights of 2020 were the launch of Alliance Agri Star II and 372 VF Agriflex+. Agri Star ll was designed in close cooperation with farmers and dealers and features a unique Stratified Later Technology (SLT) which ensures continuous top performance and an outstanding service life. It comes with a D speed rating, i.e. 65 km/h, a 7-year warranty, and a stunning design. Key USP’s are improved anti-skidding, excellent self-cleaning as the dual step tie-bars prevents lug shuffling and act as mud breakers, and enhanced roadability. Furthermore, a longer life-span, outstanding stability and crop protection. Agriflex+ VF 372 is designed with increased sidewall flexibility which enables the tires to carry up to 40% more at the same pressure as compared to a standard tractor radial. It offers a significantly large footprint leading to low soil compaction and a comfortable ride for the driver. The larger footprint enables high traction, reduces fuel costs and increases overall operational productivity. The R-1W pattern enables excellent grip as well as long tire life on hard surfaces. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? YOHT: While we do not have estimations for 2022 perse, we do have something exciting to look forward to: the completion of our Yokohama Off-Highway Tires integration in Europe. While this has already been successfully completed in the USA, it’s only logical that we will follow suit in Europe. In short, this means that we can offer our Alliance, Galaxy, Primex & Yokohama products all under the YOHT umbrella. And also, as you may know – Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. will invest in additional production capacity at the new Visakhapatnam Plant that is currently under construction in India. With an additional investment of US$171 million, the new plant’s planned daily production capacity will be doubled. During the first stage – scheduled to start in Q1 of 2023 – production capacity will reach 55 tons of rubber weight per day. In the second stage, a production capacity of 123 tons rubber weight per day is scheduled to start in Q1 of 2024. We are looking forward to growing our existing portfolio while staying in close contact with our partners and customers in order to truly meet all their requirements without ever compromising on quality.