QINGDAO, China—Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. is budgeting several hundred million dollars for a passenger tire plant in the U.S., with 2017 as the target for getting established, according to Sentury President Lanny Lin.
Sentury has hired Rami Helminen, formerly a senior vice president of Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C., to oversee the project and become CEO of the U.S. manufacturing operations, Lin said via email.
Sentury envisions building a “highly automated smart tire factory” along the lines of its existing plants in China and Thailand, with a target annual capacity of 10 million tires.
Sentury said it is researching potential sites for the factory.
Earlier this year, it hosted a delegation of Georgia state political and business representatives at its facilities in China, where they discussed with Sentury executives the possibilities of investing in Georgia.
Political and business representatives of the state of Georgia visited with Sentury management in Qingdao earlier this year.
The delegation was led by Chris Carr, the director general of Economic Development Bureau of Georgia State, and Chris Riley, the director of governor office of Georgia State, according to Sentury.
Sentury operates plants in Qingdao, China, and Rayong, Thailand, the latter of which went into production this past summer with a rated annual capacity of 12 million units.