Michelin expanding Thailand plant
PARIS-Group Michelin is investing $94 million to expand capacity for passenger tires by about a third at its Michelin Siam Co. Ltd. plant in Laem Chabang, Thailand.
The project, disclosed by Chairman Edouard Michelin during the presentation of the firm's 2005 financial results, will focus on higher value-added V- and Z-rated performance tires to meet rapidly expanding Asian demand.
Michelin did not give a timetable for the project, which will add 2.2 million units of annual capacity to the 16-year-old plant's existing capacity of 6.1 million units. Michelin last expanded the plant in 2000/2001, when it doubled capacity to its current level in a $100 million project.
The Laem Chabang plant opened in 1990 under the auspices of Michelin Siam Group Co. Ltd., a joint venture company involving Michelin and Siam Cement P.L.C. Michelin since has boosted its control of the joint venture to 90 percent.
JK Industries to spin off tire unit
MUMBAI, India-JK Industries Ltd. intends to spin off its tire activities into an as-yet unnamed separate undertaking.
JK Industries, India's No. 3 tire maker and the world's 20th largest with annual sales of about $500 million, said the spinoff would provide the tire business with an ``opportunity for more focused approach and enable value maximization to all the stakeholders.''
In its announcement, JK emphasized that it recently had invested $35 million to expand its radial capacity for truck and passenger tires by 50 percent and 30 percent, respectively. It claims to have about 85 percent of domestic capacity for radial truck tires.