WEIHAI, China—Triangle Group Co. Ltd., the second largest tire manufacturer in China and 15th largest worldwide, is aiming to crack the top 10 globally over the next few years, according to the firm's top executive.
Triangle Chairman Ding Yuhua laid out the master plan for expansion in capacity, product line, research and development as well as sales network during a talk at a recent ceremony in Weihai commemorating the company's 40th anniversary.
“We need to pay high attention to and contribute to the 'ground-shaking' transformation of the sector,” Ding said during his speech.
Weihai-headquartered Triangle plans to boost its total capacity roughly 20 percent to 30 million units annually over the next five years, he said. The company produces passenger car, truck and bus, and off-the-road tires and sells in 180 countries. Fiscal 2014 sales were $2.87 billion.
Included in the growth are plans to achieve smart manufacturing for 10 million units of high performance tire capacity at its Huayang, China, plant and 3.5 million radial truck tires at its Huamao, China, factory over the next three to five years.
Funding the growth will come in part from capital to be raised from Triangle's upcoming IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The company initiated production in February at Weihai, its newest facility—a so-called “smart plant”—with 4 million units of annual capacity, and is anticipating running at full capacity by the end of May.
The new plant is one of five factories Triangle has in the Weihai area. More than 98 percent of the tires produced there can meet the dynamic balance standards set at less than 20 grams for tires 20 inches or above, and less than 30 grams for smaller tires, according to the company.
The facility, which represents an investment of more than $1 billion, touts a manufacturing execution system that keeps record of all manufacturing data from raw materials to shipping, something rarely seen in China's tire plants.
Highly automated equipment—including nine automatic storage and retrieval systems that guarantee first-in, first-out shipping—reduced the plant's employee headcount by 40 percent. RFID codes also are used to monitor the tires after they are built.
“Smart manufacturing raises the profit margin,” said Guo Zhijie, Triangle's executive vice president in charge of information technology, at the anniversary event. In 2014 the company's net profit jumped 12 percent to $157 million.