BANGKOK, Thailand (Jan. 8, 2004) — Hwa Fong Rubber Industry Co. Ltd. has picked a site in Thailand for its newest plant, a $10 million motorcycle, scooter, bicycle and ATV tire factory that will boost Hwa Fong Rubber (Thailand)'s annual capacity 40 percent to 30 million units.
To finance the project, Hwa Fong's Thai unit went partially public, offering nearly 12 million shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The shares offered represent about 30 percent of the firm's asset base.
If all goes according to plan, the company said the new plant will be operational before year-end 2004 with an annual capacity of 12 million tires—6 million industrial tires and tubes, 3 million motorcycle tires and tubes and 3 million bicycle tires and tubes. At full capacity, the plant should generate about $16 million in sales, according to the firm's listing prospectus.
The industrial tires and tubes are intended for export to the U.S. while the motorcycle and bicycle tires will be for distribution throughout the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) trading bloc, the prospectus said.