SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 28, 2016) — Trelleborg Wheel Systems cut the ribbon this week on its first North American tire manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, touting its expanding commitment to the North American market.
The 430,000-sq.-ft. facility will produce radial agricultural tires, eventually in sizes ranging from 24- to 54-inch rim diameters, for both the OE and replacement markets.
Trelleborg is investing more than $50 million in the multi-phase project that converted a former Trelleborg A.B. coated fabrics facility to tire production.
Tire production actually started late last year, and the company said it will continue to add tire building equipment over the next couple of years. The facility is expected to employ 150 by 2018.
“The Spartanburg facility is one of the most automated manufacturing facilities in the agricultural industry. This enables us to guarantee the highest standard of production to customers across the North American market, which we are confident, will allow us to replicate the phenomenal ramp-up of our Xingtai facility in China,” said Paolo Pompei, president of agricultural and forestry tires at Trelleborg Wheel Systems.
“North America is the largest agricultural market in the world and it is highly attractive for us. Demand for extra-large agricultural tires, where Trelleborg is a market leader, is growing in the region. Although we already sell our products in the U.S. and Canada, local production offers considerably more favorable conditions, thus enhancing our competitiveness,” Mr. Pompei said.
“We are now located in a modern facility in a prime location with state-of-the-art equipment designed according to the latest Trelleborg technology standards.
“This means we will be able to capitalize on existing partnership agreements with major original equipment manufacturers and distributors, while facilitating the transfer of technology from one part of the world to another.”
The plant features what Trelleborg claims to be the widest innerliner calender in the ag tire industry; fully automated body plies cutter; a fully robotized line for textile belts; and fully automated curing presses.