MONROVIA, Calif.—China's Double Coin Holdings Ltd. has started shipping tires to the U.S. from its factory in Thailand, a strategic move that will enable China Manufacturers Association (CMA) to "facilitate the expansion" of Double Coin-brand truck and off-the-road tire lines in the U.S.
Monrovia-based CMA, Double Coin's U.S. distribution subsidiary, recently received its first shipment from the Thai factory, which started production last July and is ramping up toward the rated annual capacities of 2.5 million radial truck tires and 50,000-plus OTR tires.
The $285 million factory, in Thailand's Rayong Province, is designed according to the Industry 4.0 concept, CMA said, and is controlled by Manufacturing Execution System software and integrated with the SAP management system.
Tim Phillips, vice president of marketing and operations for Double Coin, noted that the new plant—Double Coin's first manufacturing site outside of China—is part of China's One Belt and One Road strategy, which seeks to create mutually profitable relationships with other countries such as Thailand.
Phillips was part of a team that toured the new plant recently as part of an initiative to strengthen relationships with Thai government officials. CMA President Mike Yang and Liu Xunfeng, chairman of Shanghai Huayi Group Co. also were in attendance along with Wissanu Krea-ngam, deputy prime minister of Thailand, and Vera Chaiperm, governor of Bangkok.
The plant, operated by Huayi Group (Thailand) Co. Ltd., is built on a 3.6-million-sq.-ft. site in the Luckchai Rubber Industrial City Hub in Rayong Province and employs a level of automation that reduces the number of employees in the factory to half of what is needed in a traditional tire factory.