LONDON—Turkish tire maker Petlas Tire is completing a $166 million expansion at its site in Kirsehir, Turkey, and is also planning a new plant, a senior company official said.
Petlas general director for international sales Oguz Ay said that, once completed, the expansion project will increase agricultural tire production by 10 percent and radial truck/bus tire production by 200 percent.
The tire maker, he noted, has been steadily growing and has invested nearly $553 million since 2005 to increase its capacity.
“Turkey is the only European country where demand for TBR tires is on the rise,” said Ay, adding that an annual growth of 5 to 10 percent is forecast for TBR tire demand in the country.
“Therefore, we are expanding our TBR capacity three-fold to meet the growing demand,” he said.
Kirsehir is Petlas' only production site with the current annual production capacity of 8 million PCR tires, 2 million agricultural tires, 500,000 TBR tires and 300,000 OTR tires.
With demand for passenger car tires also on the rise in Turkey, Petlas will be setting up a new factory at a new site in the near future, according to Ay.
Ay did not, however, comment on the location or the time frame for the new plant, but he said that the current slow markets and conflicts in the Middle East region may delay the decision-making process.
A report by TechSci Research in 2014 has forecast that the Turkish tire industry would be dominated by passenger car segment between 2014-19.
“Many leading automobile manufacturers in Turkey are expanding their production capacities as well as establishing new production facilities in the country,” said the report predicting that the country's tire industry was to grow at a CAGR of around 8 percent during the period.
Petlas faces increasing competition in Turkey. Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. recently opened a $500 million joint venture car and light truck tire plant in Cankiri, Turkey, and Brisa Bridgestone Sabancı Lastik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. is building a $290 million car tire plant in Aksaray Province that is due on stream in early 2018.