ZHAOYUAN CITY, China (July 14, 2014) — Shandong Linglong Group has secured an agreement with Spain's IDIADA Automotive Technology S.A. to provide design and engineering services for a 365-acre tire proving grounds it's building near Yantai, Shandong Province, China.
Shandong Linglong is commiting $182 million toward the proving ground project, which eventually will be available to other vehicle and tire companies, the company said.
Shandong Linglong said it expects to have the facility in operation by 2015. Until then, the company said it would carry out testing by leasing time at other existing proving grounds.
The area being developed is already the site of a track for China Super Truck Racing, but that arrangement will end after this season, the company said.
Josep-Maria Farran, chief operating officer of IDIADA, and Wang Feng, vice president of Linglong Group, met recently near the site to sign their strategic cooperation agreement. Also attending the ceremony were Deng Yali, president of the China Rubber Industry Association; Li Hongwei, deputy director of China Tire Test Center; and Li Shangxiong, president of China Super Truck Racing Committee.
This cooperation with IDIADA will introduce world-advanced management experience and an operation model while ensuring its independence so as to better serve China and global tire industry, Linglong said.
IDIADA Automotive is part of Applus+IDIADA, a Tarragona, Spain-based company dedicated to design, testing, engineering and homologation services to the automotive industry worldwide. It describes its mission as: “Support our clients in their product development activities by providing them with engineering, testing and homologation services that fit their needs.”
IDIADA has its own vehicle/tire proving ground near Tarragona and has six offices in China.
Deng Yali, president of the China Rubber Industry Association, called this project a “milestone” in Chinese tire industry history.
Shandong Linglong is considered one of the 20 largest tire makers worldwide, with 2012 sales of $1.8 billion. It recently commissioned production at a car and light truck tire plant in Thailand's Rayong Province.