WASHINGTON—Requests for new Department of Transportation tire plant identity codes, required for selling passenger and truck tires in the U.S., fell to just a dozen in 2012.
The DOT reported 61 codes issued in 2011, and 22 in 2010.
Two of the new codes issued last year were for the same plant, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.'s factory under construction in Rio Grande, Brazil. The $345 million car tire plant is scheduled to start production before the end of 2013.,
Of the remaining 10, seven are for plants in China and three in India.
The latest additions bring to 320 the number of tire plant DOT codes issued to tire factories in China, according to the DOT's database. As many as two dozen, however, are considered duplicates for the same plants.
The latest list from the DOT shows 956 codes issued, including 85 issued in the past three years.
Of the 956 codes listed, at least 130 are for plants that are closed or no longer make tires, with another 30 or so for retread plants, factories that don't make tires or make only bicycle tires and/or tubes.
The DOT symbol indicates the tire maker certifies tires bearing the mark meet all U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements.