FINDLAY, Ohio — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Sailun Vietnam Co. Ltd. have agreed to set up a joint venture to oversee the construction of a radial truck/bus tire plant in Vietnam rated at more than 2 million units annually.
The proposed venture, which requires government approvals, will be located near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at the site of Sailun Vietnam's existing operations and represents an investment of $220 million to $240 million, Cooper said.
Cooper will own 35 percent of the new venture.
The venture will extend Cooper's relationship with Sailun Jinyu Group Co. Ltd. — Sailun Vietnam's Qindao, China-based parent company — which already involves an offtake production agreement covering production of Cooper's Roadmaster-brand truck/bus tires at the company's Vietnam plant and Sailun Jinyu's pending purchase of a 35-percent stake in Cooper's Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. Ltd. (GRT) joint venture in Qingdao.
Construction of the facility is expected to begin early next year with tire production commencing in the first half of 2020, Cooper said.
"The JV announced today is another step forward in Cooper's strategy to expand and diversify our TBR tire production globally," Cooper President and CEO Brad Hughes said, "giving us additional capacity to help serve our growing original equipment and replacement TBR business around the world.
"We are very pleased to build on the great relationship we have with Sailun to help us address opportunities in the global TBR market."
Zhongxue Yuan, chairman and president of Sailun Group, added: "This is positive for both parties. Our work with Cooper has been extremely productive. We are happy to expand our partnership with Cooper through this new TBR tire production facility in Vietnam that will help both companies meet our customers' needs for quality, cost-competitive products around the globe."