Yokohama, Continental Resume Tire Production

Yokohama tires
Yokohama Tire Corp.

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Two tire manufacturers that had suspended production due to the COVID-19 crisis have restarted their factories.

Yokohama Corp. resumed commercial-vehicle tire production at its factory in West Point, Miss., on April 27.

The company suspended production at the plant a month ago as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Yokohama said it has implemented new safety procedures at the plant, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities.

The new procedures include asking employees who are not feeling well to not report to work and immediately notify their manager if they have the basic COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever or a cough. They also should not come to work if they have a family member who has returned from a coronavirus hotspot within the past 14 days. The same holds true for workers who have had contact with a health care worker who has a presumptive case of the virus.

Yokohama’s new plant safety protocols include the suspension of large group meetings. Workers must wear face masks at all times. The employee canteen will only serve canned drinks and pre-made lunches. It is requiring alternated seating. Employees must sit 6 feet apart while in the breakroom.

The division of Japan’s Yokohama Rubber Co. also suspended production at a plant in Salem, Va. A company spokesman said that plant remains shut down and does not have a date to reopen.

Meanwhile, Continental also resumed production of new tires at its Mount Vernon, Ill., factory on the same day. Production of pre-cured tread used for retread tires has been continuous at the Mount Vernon facility under the federal government’s essential manufacturing provision.

But the company has suspended tire production at its factory in Sumter, S.C., and did not provide guidance on when that plant will come back on line.

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