TRELLEBORG, Sweden — Trelleborg A.B. has submitted plans for a major investment at its Ruma, Serbia, agricultural/industrial tire plant to the local government, the company confirmed recently to European Rubber Journal.
The comment followed local news reports that Czech tire maker Mitas A.S., which Trelleborg acquired last year, is planning to add a new unit at its factory in Ruma, northern Serbia.
Citing local government officials, Serbian daily "Dnevnik" said May 23 that construction work was expected to start at the factory "later this month" with completion set for January 2018.
In response to a query from ERJ, Trelleborg said it could confirm submitting its plans to a local government but refused to give further information.
Earlier this year, Trelleborg disclosed it was planning a "major investment" in the Ruma plant but declined at that time to elaborate.
According to the Dnevink report, Mitas is planning to hire between 100 and 200 additional employees at the Ruma factory at the beginning of next year. The company already employs 550 there.
While declining to disclose details, Trelleborg noted that Serbia "is well located in Europe considering both logistics and closeness to markets including Ukraine and Russia, and has a favorable cost base."
CGS's Mitas business unit last invested in the Ruma plant in 2014 to help it meet rising demand from markets in southern and eastern Europe and the Middle East. That project was scheduled to run through mid-2016 and boost annual capacity of bias and radial agricultural tires to 35,000 metric tons.
Mitas, in turn, bought the plant in 2008 from the former GPX International Tire Corp., whose predecessor company, Galaxy Tire & Wheel Inc., had bought it five years earlier.
The Ruma facility opened originally in 1981, operating under the Ruma-Guma A.D. name.