PANAMA CITY, Panama — China Manufacturers Association L.L.C. (CMA) has established a sales subsidiary for Latin America in Costa Rica and is in the process of setting up another, similar company in Mexico.
The new companies will coordinate CMA's sales efforts for the Double Coin truck, OTR and industrial tires throughout Latin America/Caribbean and Mexico, respectively, according to CMA Vice President Walt Weller, who announced the units' formation at the Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo in Panama City.
The new company in Costa Rica, CMA Huayi Central America, is based in San Jose and is being headed up by Andreas Urena, an industry veteran who's been with CMA for the past four years, Mr. Weller said.
CMA is the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based subsidiary of China's Double Coin Holdings Ltd., which in turn is controlled by Shanghai Huayi (Group) Co.
The new subsidiary has secured duty-free warehousing space in San Jose that will be used to complement the container-load, direct-ship business that represents the majority of the company's business in the region. The company also will handle Duraturn-brand truck tires and potentially other brands and types later on.
Messrs. Weller and Urena cited Costa Rica's economic and political stability as key reasons for establishing the new company in that country.
CMA declined to quantify the size of Double Coin's business in the region, but Mr. Weller said the company estimates potential growth under the new sales structure could triple or even quadruple in five years.
In Mexico, CMA is in the final stages of establishing a sales subsidiary in Queretaro, Mr. Weller said. That company, to be lead by Juan Alberto Gonzalez Arce, also will have warehousing and handle the Duraturn brand in addition to Double Coin.
Messrs. Urena and Arce noted Double Coin is committed to producing a few key truck tire sizes that are distinct to Latin America, such as 7.50/17, 305/75R24.5 and 295/80R22.5.
The creation of these new companies comes nine months after Shanghai Huayi established a sales company in Canada, Huayi Tire Canada Inc., in Markham, Ontario, to handle distribution of its Double Coin, Duraturn, Dynatrail and Bluestar tire brands.
Double Coin considers South America an export market that it handles directly from China, Mr. Weller noted.
In addition, Mr. Weller and Mike Yang, CMA president, noted that Double Coin expects to start test production of tires later this month at its newest factory in Rayong, Thailand.
CMA expects that plant eventually will be a source of tires for North America as well, Mr. Weller added.