Conti preparing to start up new factory in China
HEFEI, ChinaContinental A.G. has installed the first machinery at its car tire plant in Hefei, putting the $253 million project on schedule to start production by early 2011.
The targeted production start-up is about a year later than originally projected when Conti broke ground on the factory in October 2008. Work was suspended, however, shortly thereafter during the grips of the worldwide economic crisis and then resumed in September 2009.
The plant will have an initial capacity of 4 million car and light truck tires annually, but longer term the plan is to expand the unit to cope with the dynamic growing market volume throughout Asia.
Bridgestone to expand truck tire plant in Thailand
TOKYOBridgestone Corp. will invest $200 million through early 2014 to expand daily capacity at its Chonburi, Thailand, truck tire plant by more than 30 percent to 10,500 units to meet growing demand for radial truck and bus tires.
Bridgestone cited rising global demand for truck tires, although it did not identify specific areas of growth. The firm also did not say whether the physical size of the plant would be enlarged or what effect on employment the expansion would have. The plant sits on a 150-acre plot and employs 1,400.
The plant, operated by Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd., is one of two factories Bridgestone operates in Thailand.
The other, for car and light truck tires, is in Nong Khae and is operated by Thai Bridgestone Co. Ltd. Bridgestone recently committed $255 million through 2014 to expand capacity there 37 percent to 50,000 tires daily.
Sumitomo takes stake in Asia's Stamford Tyres
SINGAPORESumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) has acquired a 1.8-percent stake in Stamford Tyres Corp. Ltd., Southeast Asia's largest independent tire and wheel distributor.
The transaction follows Stamford's foray into South Africa last year. Sumitomo appointed Stamford its distributor of record for the Falken brand in February 2009.
Stamford Tyres issued 4.3 million new shares to SRI at a price of 35 cents per share.
Double Coin moving forward on car tire plant
SHANGHAIChina's Double Coin Holdings Ltd. is moving ahead with plans to build a $475 million passenger/light truck tire plant in China's Anhui Province designed to produce 15 million tires a year at full capacity.
Double Coin, which is focused on commercial tires after completing the divestment of its Shanhgai-based passenger tire business in 2009 to Group Michelin, has been evaluating an investment in the consumer tire segment for some time.
The company did not disclose where in Anhui Province it intends to build the plant or how long the project would take. The new plant will operate under a new subsidiary company to be called Double Coin Huili Tire Co.
Previously Double Coin officials had indicated the company would build the plant adjacent to or close to its existing factory in Rugao, in neighboring Jiangsu Province.
Double Coin is represented in North America by China Manufacturers Alliance L.L.C. in Monrovia, Calif.
Toyo completes acquisition of Silverstone Bhd.
OSAKA, JapanToyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has acquired Malaysian tire maker Silverstone Bhd. and plans to produce Toyo- and Nitto-brand tires at the firm's plant in Kamunting, north of Kuala Lumpur.
Toyo said the $150 million deal, completed Dec. 10, fits into its plan to become a serious player in the Southeast Asia market. It added the purchase from Malaysia's Lion Forest Industries Bhd. will have a negligible effect on its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31.
Silverstone reported sales of about $117 million last year with net earnings of $3.5 million.
The plant will be Toyo's first in Asia outside of Japan.
Michelin breaks ground for new plant in China
SHENYANG, ChinaGroup Michelin has broken ground on a car and truck tire plant in Shenyang, a $1.46 billion project that will focus on high-performance radial car tires when it comes on stream in late 2014.
The new plant will replace a factory Michelin opened in Shenyang 15 years ago, the company said.