AKRON (Sept. 14, 2012) — China's Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. (HZCR) generated tire sales in 2011 of $4.26 billion, not $3.33 billion as previously reported by Tire Business, elevating the Hangzhou, China-based manufacturer to 10th on the list of the world's largest tire makers.
The error in reporting HZCR's sales was the result of the Chinese company's submitting incorrect data due to a misinterpretation of Tire Business's survey request, which is used in preparing the publication's annual Top 75 tire makers' ranking.
According to the revised data, HZCR's tire sales climbed nearly 26 percent over 2010.
The revised sales data put Hangzhou Zhongce—producer of the Chaoyang, Westlake, Goodride and Yartu brands—nearly equal with Taiwan's Maxxis International, No. 9 on this year's list and ahead of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Kumho Tire Co. Ltd., which drop to 11th and 12th, respectively.
Hangzhou Zhongce does not have a U.S. representative's office but works instead through major wholesalers/imports, such as American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc., Strategic Tire Supply, Omni United, Tireco Inc., etc., the firm said.
North America represents about 5 percent of the firm's global sales, or roughly $230 million last year, the firm reported. HZCR generates about 70 percent of its sales domestically but said it expects the domestic/export ratio to move closer to 50/50 in the coming few years.
Also gleaned from the revised survey response: HZCR is budgeting more than $1.3 billion over several years to build a car, light and medium truck and OTR tire plant in Jintan, Jiangsu Province, about 120 miles from the firm's headquarters and manufacturing complex of plants in Hangzhou.
The new plant is slated to have annual capacities for 10 million car and light truck tires, 2 million truck/bus tires and 200,000 OTR tires. Completion date for the project is given as December 2013.
CZ Tire Holdings Ltd.—an entity identified as a company incorporated under British Virgin Islands laws focused on investments in the Chinese tire industry—is a major shareholder in HZCR, having bought a 26-percent share last year from China Enterprises Ltd.