TARBORO, N.C. — China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. will become the latest foreign tire maker to build a factory on U.S. soil, announcing plans on Dec. 19 to build its first two North American tire plants on a 1,449-acre tract of land near Rocky Mount, N.C.
The Chinese tire maker said Phase 1 of the nearly $580-million investment — bolstered by $152 million in state and local incentives — will begin in 2018 with a groundbreaking on a passenger and light truck plant, with an expected capacity of 5 million tires per year.
The second facility, which will sit alongside the passenger tire plant, is expected to produce 1 million truck/bus tires per year.
Weihai, China-based Triangle, which operates five tire plants in China, expects both phases to be completed by 2023, employing up to 800 when fully operational.
The plant will be situated at the Kingsboro Megasite, located about an hour from Raleigh on the Eastern seaboard, just off U.S. Highway 64 and 10 minutes east of I-95. Triangle said CSX Transportation provides rail service to the area.
"We expect that this will provide a huge boost in brand awareness and interest in our products as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S.," said Manny Cicero, CEO of Franklin, Tenn.-based Triangle Tire USA.
Triangle Chairman Ding Yuhua and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement during a news conference at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro.