QINGDAO, ChinaQingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. is budgeting several hundred million dollars for a passenger tire plant in the U.S., with 2017 as the target for getting established, according to Sentury President Lanny Lin.
Sentury has hired Rami Helminen, formerly a senior vice president of Finland's Nokian Tyres P.L.C., to oversee the project and become CEO of the U.S. manufacturing operations, Mr. Lin told Tire Business in an email exchange.
Sentury envisions building a highly automated smart tire factory along the lines of its existing plants in China and Thailand, with a target annual capacity of 10 million tires.
Sentury said it is researching potential sites for the factory.
Earlier last year it hosted a delegation of Georgia state political and business representatives at its facilities in China, where they discussed with Sentury executives the possibilities of investing in Georgia.
The delegation was led by Chris Carr, the director general of Economic Development Bureau of Georgia State, and Chris Riley, the director of governor office of Georgia State, according to Sentury.
Sentury operates plants in Qing-dao, China, and Rayong, Thailand, the latter of which went into production this past summer with a rated annual capacity of 12 million units.
Sentury's Qingdao plant opened in 2009 with capacity for high-performance passenger tires and bias-ply aircraft tires. Annual capacity is listed as 38 million car tires and 10,000 aircraft tires annually.
Sentury goes to market with three brand namesDelinte, Landsail and Sentury.
Sentury is represented in the U.S. by Sentury Tire Americas of Miami, which operates warehousing in Miami and Memphis, Tenn., and earlier last year opened a new headquarters in Miami.
Qingdao Sentury was rated No. 50 on the 2015 Tire Business Top 75 list of global tire makers, with fiscal 2014 sales of $314 million.