LAS VEGAS—China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. is building a fifth plant in the Weihai, Shandong Province, area that will be dedicated to higher value-added tires.
The move is part of its global growth strategy, company executives told distributors and customers during a news conference in Las Vegas at the SEMA Show.
The plant is designed for a capacity of 8 million units a year, according to Hu Yongkang, head of Research and Developement/Quality Management Center, with an emphasis on performance, winter, SUV and other high value-added tires. The plant will come on stream in 2015 with curing capacity of 4 million tires annually, Hu said, with a second phase project set to double that to 8 million units later.
Triangle did not disclose its investment at this time. The tire maker's other four factories are in the Weihai area, with combined manufacturing capacities of more than 30 million units, including 24 million radial, according to company data. Annual rubber mixing capacity is more than 500,000 metric tons. The product portfolio ranges from passenger to large off-the-road.
The project ties into Triangle's global growth aspirations, according to Chairman Ding Yuhua, and as such is being designed to meet or exceed prevailing global ecological and energy-saving standards.
During the news conference, Ding concentrated on Triangle's commitments to green efforts in its growth—a policy the executive has championed for several years.
Ding and Jenner Powell, marketing vice president, also stressed that the new plant, along with additional investments in a Shanghai commercial/marketing center and expanded research and development assets, support Triangle's efforts to establish the Triangle brand as a global premium brand.
The new marketing team in Shanghai will have the task of shaping the Triangle brand message to be more consistent on a global basis, the executives said.
One of the key efforts will be in North America, where the Triangle brand is distributed by a number of key wholesale distributors.
Ding stressed the company will honor all existing distribution agreements in North America but will work with distributors to craft a brand message consistent with the global strategic goals.
Triangle Group is the No. 3 tire maker in China and 16th worldwide, with sales in 2012 of $2.47 billion.
Among Triangle's key distributors in North America is Horizon Tire Co.