WEIHAI, China—China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. has begun production of high-performance car tires at its newest plant, in Weihai Nanhai New District in Shandong Province.
The plant, with a Phase I capacity of 4 million units a year, is part of a $1 billion investment package that also will include a tire proving ground for the testing of its high-performance car and commercial tires, complete with living facilities for workers, Triangle said recently.
The new plant operates under the control of Triangle Group Huayang Co. Ltd., a Triangle Group subsidiary, and is the company's fifth factory.
Triangle disclosed plans for the factory in 2013, saying at that time the plant's capacity eventually will double to 8 million units.
Triangle said the plant is outfitted with the latest-generation production equipment from Germany and Holland and is engineered with a high degree of automation throughout the production flow, from raw material preservation and in-process storage and transportation to product testing, warehousing and shipping.
The production line employs integrated information-based manufacturing technology as part of an intelligent manufacturing system characterized by the integration of network and collaboration.
The company—considered the world's No. 15 tire maker with fiscal 2014 sales of $2.87 billion—said the level of automation helps reduce the number of employees by 40 percent compared with the traditional mode of production, although the employment level was not disclosed.
Triangle said Sun Shutao, secretary of Weihai Municipal CPC Committee, and Xu Lianxin, deputy mayor of Weihai, were on hand in late February at ceremony held to mark the start of production. Triangle Group Chairman Ding Yuhua hosted the visit.
Triangle said production at the factory is intended to meet the technical requirements and needs of export markets in Russia, Northern Europe and North America.