LAS VEGAS (Nov. 4, 2009)—China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. is constructing a $465 million truck and passenger tire plant near its headquarters in Wehei, Shandong, to support its domestic and international growth plans.
Located less than 10 miles from Triangle's 33-year-old manufacturing complex in Weihei, the new factory is expected to be operational by the first quarter of next year, according to Triangle Group Chairman and President Ding Yuhua.
Ding, interviewed while attending the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, said the plant will be capable of producing 5.6 million truck/bus and 8 million auto tires annually. This compares with 3.5 million truck/bus and 20 million car tires a year at Triangle's existing plants, along with 200,000 units of OTR tire and 3.5 million units of bias-ply tire capacity.
The facility is being designed and engineered to minimize raw materials wastage and energy usage, Ding said. The plant will add about 1,100 employees to the firm's staff of 9,600.
Triangle is projecting 15 to 20 percent growth in sales above the $1.77 billion reported last year, Ding said, and expects to at least repeat that scale of growth next year vs. 2009. Triangle is the 15th- largest tire maker in the world, according to Rubber & Plastics News' annual global tire rankings.
Triangle's sales are split roughly 50-50 domestic/export, Ding said, with North America being the largest export market. Truck tires account for about half of the company's sales, with passenger at 20 percent, OTR at 15 to 17 percent and the rest bias tires for the Chinese market.
Triangle deals directly with customers in North America, but company officials said the firm is evaluating the need for a U.S. office to support its sales efforts here