SHANDONG PROVINCE, China (Oct. 12)—Pirelli S.p.A. will add passenger tire capacity in the next two years at its joint venture truck tire plant in Yanzhou, Shandong Province.
Pirelli officials disclosed the addition at the opening of the truck tire factory in Yanzhou, co-owned with RoadOne Tyre Co. Ltd. of Jinan. China.
Pirelli has committed about $270 million over three years for the project. The partners hope the company will win 3 percent of the Chinese truck tire market in a year, and increase at twice the market growth rate after that.
The facility has the capacity to produce 540,000 tires annually, and eventually will hit 1.2 million units.
Pirelli owns a 60-percent interest in the business. Its partner is China's largest manufacturer of conveyor belts.
RoadOne set up the factory two years ago using tire technology supplied by the Beijing Rubber Institute, said Wang Xiao Dong, manager/engineer for RoadOne. When Pirelli bought a controlling share of the venture, the facility switched to that company's technology.
Pirelli plans to use the factory primarily to supply China's domestic market, but also will export from it to Australia and Southeast Asia, said Francesco Gori, head of Pirelli Tyres.