The hot spot for capital investments by tire manufacturers is once again Asia, with expansion projects planned for the region totaling about $1.85 billion. China leads the way, with eight expansion projects and four of the 10 new plants planned around the world. India followed closely, registering six expansions and four planned plant openings.
North America and Europe each reported projects planned or under way totaling more than $350 million-or about equal to half of the worldwide capital investments in tire operations announced in 1993. Companies reported projects totaling another $15 million in Africa and the Middle East, with little activity in Latin America.
Worldwide tire manufacturers announced projects worth $2.6 billion since August 1994-compared to about $1 billion last year-but quadrupling 1993's investment total of about $750 million.
Six firms-Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co. Ltd., N.V. Bekaert S.A., Kumho & Co. Inc., Dunlop India Ltd., Apollo Tyres Ltd. and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.-pledged to spend a combined $1.4 billion in tire-related projects, accounting for about 38 percent of the year's worldwide investments.
The following expansions have been announced by tire makers since August 1994.
Carlisle Tire & Rubber Co.
Carlisle, Pa.: Increasing capacity for bias-ply trailer tires.
Continental General Tire Inc.
Mt. Vernon, Ill.: Modernizing unit and expanding truck/bus radial capacity 13 percent with $8 million investment.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
Albany, Ga.: Boosting capacity for radial truck/bus tires by 50 percent. Also spending $56 million to build an addition and increase capacity for passenger car tires by 17 percent.
Tupelo, Miss.: Adding a warehouse and radial tire building and curing capacity with a $28 million investment.
Findlay, Ohio: Adding a warehouse and converting truck/bus tire capacity to passenger tire capacity via a $28 million expansion project. Also building a $14.4 million mold manufacturing unit.
Dunlop Tire Corp.
Conducting feasibility study on building a new passenger car tire plant in North America by 1997.
Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.
Freeport, Ill.: Converting light truck bias-ply capacity (7,000 units a day) to radial, starting at 2,400 radial units per day and increasing to 9,600 radial light truck tires a day. Also expanding front farm tire capacity with a $4 million investment. In addition, spending $8.5 million to expand farm radial rear tire capacity, convert bias-ply rear farm tire capacity and add manufacturing space onto the facility.
Specialty Tires of America Inc.
Unicoi, Tenn.: Building $30 million specialty tire plant with initial capacity to produce 400,000 tires a year.
Titan Tire Corp.
Des Moines, Iowa: Doubling capacity for farm tires, adding all radial capacity.
Yokohama Tire Corp.
Studying the possibility of building truck/bus tire factory in North America.
Valleyfield, Quebec: Expanding capacity 10 percent with 50 new employees and a $16.4 million investment in brick and mortar and equipment.
Michelin Tires (Canada) Ltd.
Granton, Nova Scotia: Boosting compounding capacity and upgrading quality and safety measures with $9.1 million investment.
Waterville and Bridgewater, Nova Scotia: Upgrading capacity and modernizing equipment at both sites with a $7.7 million investment. Also spending $10.4 million to boost truck and bus tire capacity in Waterville.
Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co.
Kitchener, Ontario: Modernizing and expanding capacity 14 percent for passenger and light truck radials via a $10.9 million investment.
Carlisle Tire & Rubber Co.
Shenzhen: Boosting capacity for truck and bus and industrial tires.
Cheng Shin Rubber Industry
Shanghai: Building $50 million tire plant.
Xiamen: Nearing completion of Phase II of expansion project.
China Tire Holdings Co. Ltd.
Chongqing: Increasing capacity for motorcycle tires to 1.5 million units a year.
Dong Feng Lion Tyre Co.
Dong Feng, Wuhan: Acquiring new capacity for passenger radials.
Hwa Fong Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.
Shanghai: Spending $12 million to build new motorcycle and industrial tire factory employing 1,000.
Kenda Rubber Industrial Co.
Shanghai: Constructing $2 million plant for light truck, farm, motorcycle and industrial bias tires and tubes.
Nan Jing Kumho Inc.
Nan Jing: Spending $120 million to construct a radial light truck and truck/bus tire plant with capacity to produce 3 million units a year.
Pearl River Tyre Co.
Guangzhou: Doubling capacity for bias-ply truck and bus tires to 2 million units a year with a $33 million investment.
Rong Cheng Guotai
Rong Cheng, Shandong: Expanding production capacity primarily for truck/bus tires 40 percent to 7 million units annually.
Tianjin Kumho Tire Co. Ltd.
Tianjin: Modernizing and adding off-the-road radial capacity with $120 million project.
Wenzhou Autoway Tyres
Wenzhou: Modernized production capacity due on stream in the fall of '95.
Apollo Tyres Ltd.
Kerala/Cochin: Acquired Premier Tyres Ltd. and plans to modernize and double radial output to 100 tires a day. Also signed deals with 17 other Indian tire manufacturers to absorb their truck tire output and build up capacity for radial truck and bus tires. Investment in the projects is estimated at $45 million.
Pune: Purchased 120 acres for a $161 million radial car and light truck tire plant with capacity to produce 100 tons per day.
Meeruti: Expanding to include earthmover, off-the-road types with $19.8 million investment.
Dunlop India Ltd.
Savli/Gujarat: Spending $235 million to build a new plant with annual capacity for 1.2 million passenger and truck/bus radial tires for export.
Ambattur: Upgrading and expanding passenger radial tire production capacity to 25,000 units a month with a $10 million investment.
Shahganj: Embarking on $32 million expansion project.
Falcon Tyres Ltd.
Mysore: Expanding capacity for motorcycle tires by 1 million units a year and adding capacity for radial passenger tires with a $64 million investment.
J.K. Industries Ltd.
Banmore: Investing $133 million to double capacity to 150,000 annual units and add radial truck/bus tire production with an expansion or new plant.
Modi Rubber Ltd.
Meerut, U.P.: New $97 million truck tire plant with capacity for 500,000 units a year.
Aurangabad: New $21 million truck tire plant.
P.T. Elangperdana Tyre Co.
Bogor, West Java: Indonesia industrial authority (BKPM) approved $90 million project for a 1.5 million-unit-a-year car and tire/tube plant.
P.T. Gadjah Tunggal
Tangerang: Expanding production capacity to 25,000 units a day from 7,000.
P.T. Sumi Rubber
Cikampek (Jakarta): New $120 million plant to produce 1.5 million radial and bias-ply passenger, LT and truck and bus tires a year.
Kumho & Co. Inc.
Koksung: Expanding radial passenger tire capacity by 2 million units a year.
Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Taejon: Purchasing 12 tire building presses that can produce up to 1,400 units a day in a three-shift operation.
Woosung Tire Corp.
Yangsan: Consolidating all manufacturing capacity at Yangsan factory and closing Pusan plant in $60 million project.
Selangor and Kedah: Spending $95 million to modernize and expand plants in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Kelang: New plant to produce 1 million pneumatic industrial tires annually.
General Tyre & Rubber Co. of Pakistan Ltd.
Karachi: Studying possibility of bolstering capacity for passenger tires 62 percent to 1.3 million units annually and upgrading capability for other types with $41 million expansion.
Cheng Shin Phils. Inc.
Manila: New $200 million factory for passenger, light truck, truck/bus and motorcycle tires can produce up to 480,000 units per month.
MSF Tyre (ex-Philtread unit)
Manila: Thailand's Siam Tyre Public Co. Ltd. is buying controlling interest in the unit and plans to modernize and expand capacity to 4,000 units/day with a $71 million investment.
Sime Darby Pilipinas Inc.
Manila: Boosting production capacity 60 percent to 5,500 units per day. Project is part of a three-year, $95 million capital investment program.
Rangsit: Doubling capacity to 12,000 daily units.
Da Nang: Agreement with Ceat Ltd. of India to build a new $51 million plant initially to produce 500,000 truck and bus tires a year, with capacity to double that output later.
Ho Chi Minh: Conducting feasibility study on a $60 million car, light truck and motorcycle tire plant.
Hanoi: Conglomerate seeking approval to manufacture vehicles and components, including tires with a total investment of $1.4 billion.
Alexandria: Studying spending $15 million to add production capacity for 50,000 light truck radials a year.
Michelin (Nigeria) Ltd.
Port Harcourt: Tire factory modernization project.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres
Birmingham: Investing $4 million to upgrade plant.
Carlisle: Consolidated all radial passenger output, increasing it 43 percent to 20,000 units a day.
Watts Industrial Tyres
Lydney, Gloucester: Expanding capacity 30 percent with equipment and addition.
Cholet: Modernizing and expanding capacity for radial passenger tires.
Tours: Modernizing and adding equipment to allow for seven-day production of radial passenger tires.
Poitiers: Adding curing presses, increasing to 21 shifts, boosting truck/bus tire output 40 percent.
Montceau/Mines: Spending $1.5 million to add curing presses, increase to 21 shifts, expand passenger tire output 15 percent and modernize compounding operation and off-the-road tire production capacity.
France: Studying new passenger tire plant.
Clermont: Increasing truck/bus tire output.
Bourges: Boosting capacity 25 percent.
La Roche/Yon: Increasing radial truck and bus tire capacity by 30 percent.
Pneumant Reifen & Gummi Werke GmbH
Furstenwalde and Riesa: $68 million modernization project.
Omsk: Spending $150 million to build a 3.3 million-unit-a-year passenger and truck and bus tire plant.
Pirelli Pneus S.A.
Campinas: Modernizing production capacity for passenger, light truck tires.
Santo Andre: Consolidating all-steel radial truck tire production.
Havana: Matador (SLVK) considering proposal to complete and commission unfinished Russian-designed plant for bias-ply tires and conveyor belts.
South Pacific Tyres Ltd.
Somerton: Upgrading manufacturing capacity with more Mitsubishi automated tire building machines.