YANZHOU, China (April 13)—Yanzhou Evolution Tyre Co. Ltd., Pirelli & C. S.p.A.'s joint venture in China, has started production of Pirelli-brand radial truck tires at its plant in Yanzhou.
Pirelli set up the 60-40 venture last October with China's RoadOne Tyre Co. Ltd. At that time the partners disclosed plans to spend about $180 million over three years to boost truck tire capacity and add passenger tire capacity at the plant, in China's Shandong Province.
The Pirelli-brand tires made at Yanzhou are destined for export to Southeast Asia and Australia along with the domestic market, Pirelli said.
The start of production follows about six months of Pirelli's fine-tuning the development, production and quality control processes at the factory, which RoadOne opened on its own in 2003. Pirelli also has installed the latest-generation manufacturing equipment and set up a research and development center on-site to foster development of products that meet the specific demands of the Asian market.
The expansion project will more than double truck tire capacity at the facility to 1.2 million units a year, Pirelli said, and will allow the venture to pursue its goal of attaining a market share in China of 3 percent short term and growing at twice the industry pace thereafter.