Chinese tyre giant to build a US$580 million plant in North Carolina

December 28, 2017

Chinese-tyre-giantWeihai, a China-based maker of tyres for passenger vehicles, trucks and buses and heavy equipment, is set to build a US$580 million tyre plant in North Carolina.

The factory is expected to employ 800 and produce six million tyres a year.

“We expect that this will provide a huge boost in brand awareness and interest in our products as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S.,” Manny Cicero, CEO of the company’s Triangle Tire USA subsidiary, said in a statement.

The company said in a disclosure to the Shanghai Stock Market last month that construction would start next year on a two-phase plan to first build a factory producing 5 million passenger cars a year. That would be followed by production lines churning out 1 million commercial vehicle tyres a year. The company added that construction is expected to take two to three years for each project.

The Triangle factory marks at least the third Chinese tyre-maker to build production plants in the U.S.

Wanli Tire Corp. said in June it plans to build a factory employing at least 400 people and later rising to 1,200 in South Carolina, America’s tyre-producing capital. Sentury Tire announced plans in 2016 to develop a US$530 million factory in La Grange, Ga.

Triangle was the third-largest tyre Chinese manufacturer based on 2015 global sales, according to Tire Business, an Akron, Ohio-based trade newspaper. Triangle ranked 17th among tyre companies in worldwide sales, the newspaper estimated.

The plant is to be located on a nearly 1,500-acre (600-hectare) site between Rocky Mount and Tarboro, which was offered as a location to potential manufacturers needing lots of space by the economic development groups that assembled it. The site is near the major Interstate 95 road corridor and borders a CSX Transportation rail line. Triangle’s operation would use about 400 acres (160 hectares) of that site, state Commerce Department spokesman David Rhodes said.

Triangle Tire has exported to the U.S. market for more than two decades and established its U.S. subsidiary in Franklin, Tennessee, nearly two years ago, the company’s web site said.

Its parent company, Triangle Tyre Co. Ltd., manufactures more than 25 million tyres a year that are sold in more than 180 countries. The company’s manufacturing systems are highly automated and the company is working on tyres with built-in chips that monitor and collect information about road conditions, temperature and tyre wear and damage.

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