Cooper Tire & Rubber and joint venture partner Sailun Vietnam, a subsidiary of China’s Sailun Group, have recently celebrated production of a first tyre at their US$280 million ACTR facility at Phuoc Dong Industrial Park, near Ho Chi Minh City. The facility features “highly automated manufacturing processes” and is expected to ramp up to commercial production by early 2020 – once operational, it should be able to produce approximately 2 million units truck/bus steel-radial tyres annually.
Sailun claims a majority of the ACTR facility’s production will sell to the US and European markets and will reach 90% capacity utilisation rate in the second year of production, with estimated sales of US$274 million.
By sourcing truck tyres from Vietnam, Cooper will avoid having to pay the elevated anti-dumping and countervailing import duties imposed by the US in early 2019 on truck tyres from China, which has reduced the tyre-maker’s earnings by US$38 million.
Cooper Tire President and CEO Brad Hughes said: “Cooperation between Cooper and Sailun has been outstanding, and we thank our partner Sailun for working so closely with us over the past several months to construct this facility.”
“This is another important step in Cooper’s strategy to expand and diversify our TBR production globally, giving us additional capacity to supply quality Roadmaster TBR tyres to customers worldwide.”