Goodyear will manufacture its ``Run-On-Flat'' tires in China beginning in 2007, the Akron-based company announced in early July.
Goodyear will invest $18 million to develop the run-on-flat production capability. The investment is part of the $120 million expansion announced a few months ago.
The tires will be both sold in the domestic market and exported, with sales expected to reach 200,000 units within five years, says Pierre Cohade, president of Goodyear's Asia-Pacific region. The majority of sales will be in the China market, said John Tseng, president of Goodyear Dalian Tire Co. Ltd., the company's China manufacturing company.
Run-On-Flat tires can travel 150 miles at 50 mph with a totally deflated tire. They currently are made in Germany at plants in Fulda, Hanau and Furstenwalde; and at Goodyear's Lawton, Okla., plant.
In 2004, Goodyear sold more than 1.3 million run-flat tires worldwide. It forecasts sales to reach close to 2 million in 2005.
The firm sees demand for run-flats growing ``significantly'' in the coming years because of increasing interest from car makers.