BEIJING (Aug. 30, 2012)—As many as five of China's largest tire manufacturers are looking outside of China to build capacity, according to a report from the China Rubber Industry Association.
Four of the five projects mentioned in the CRIA report are in Southeast Asia, where the availability of natural rubber is playing a role in the firms' decisions, the report said, quoting Ju Hongzhen, honorary president of the CRIA It's not clear in some cases whether the projects are proposed or already funded.
Hongzhen said Chinese companies are considering setting up production abroad to circumvent international trade barriers enacted against products from China and tap into growing demand for tires from countries throughout Southeast Asia.
The projects mentioned in the CRIA report are:
* Sailun Tyre, reportedly to invest $95 million in Vietnam's Tay Ninh Fudong Industrial Park to make tires and molds and for supporting research and development;
* Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. to invest $1.5 billion in Thailand for an industrial complex for tires, 600,000 steel truck radial tires, 3 million semi-steel radial truck tires and 1 million motorcycle tires a year—plus the production of carbon black and rubber.
The CRIA report quotes a Hangzhou Zhongce spokesman as saying the project is “in full swing,” while separately Tire Business was told earlier this year the project was still under review.
* Triangle Group Co. Ltd., considering a $350 million investment to make tires in Russia. A top-level delegation from Triangle, led by Triangle Chairman Deng Yuhua, toured key sites in Russia last month to investigate investment opportunities in Russia and meet with high-level government representatives and local officials, the CRIA said in a separate report.
* Shandong Linglong Rubber Co. Ltd., planning to build a plant in Thailand to make 2 million passenger radials a year.
* Shandong Ao Gerui, forming a $200 million joint venture in Indonesia to make semi-steel radial tire tires, 6 million passenger and 1.2 million truck tires year