Yokohama Tire Manufacturing celebrates 10 years in Mississippi

Yokohama is ranked 8th in Global tire rankings and sales.

CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Yokohama Tire Manufacturing celebrated a decade in Mississippi.

The Clay County plant produces around 800,000 tires per year that are shipped worldwide and employs more than 800 people, most of whom are from the Golden Triangle area.

Mayor Rod Bobo said with the addition of the tire plant, came an increase in the local economy.

“I’d hate to think of what would’ve happened if we didn’t join forces with the link when we did. As I alluded to earlier we were in some pretty dark times as a result of Bryan Foods and some other area industries. Of course, we were hit with the great recession which opposes its own set of issues so Yokohama coming at the time they came was a blessing. It was really a shot in the arm for the community,” Bobo said.

Currently, Yokohama is ranked eighth in Global tire rankings and sales.

President and CEO Jeff Barna said the company set production records in 2022 and employee retention rates are the best they have seen in the last 10 years.

He said growing the company starts with a family environment and a strong collaborative work environment.

“I think there is still room for improvement when it comes to unlocking the strong values of the culture under the new leadership here, the employee engagement services are really high where we can measure mural that way. As we see better team engagement we are also seeing improvements in terms of production rates and quality, so it all goes hand in hand,” Barna said.

General Manager Phillip Calhoun said the plant has seen a turnaround of operations in the last year and a half.

“Number one was producing more quality tires. This plant in the past had struggled to produce good quality tires as far as meeting market demand. Now we set production demand records basically every single month increasing our overall capacity to be able to support market demand,” Calhoun said.

One goal for the company to reach in the coming years is to be the employer of choice for the area.

“If you want to be the employer of choice you have to touch various streams. As it relates to the community it is important to have that community support because quite honestly a lot of the leaders have family members who work here so it is an invested interest of everyone to work together and make this plant the best in the world,” Calhoun said.

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