CHONBURI, Thailand — Chinese tire maker Prinx Chengshan Tire Co. Ltd. — a former Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. joint venture — has broken ground on a $300 million car and truck tire plant in Chonburi that could be operating by mid-2020.
At full capacity, the plant will be rated at 4 million radial passenger and 800,000 radial all-steel truck and bus tires annually, Prinx Chengshan said.
The "world-class" factory will be the first overseas production base for Prinx Chengshan (Cayman) Holdings Co. Ltd., the company's Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed corporate entity.
Speaking at a March 31 ground-breaking ceremony, Prinx Chengshan Chairman Che Hong Zhi called this investment an "important step towards the international development" for his company, which is considered the 33rd largest tire maker worldwide with fiscal 2017 sales of $855 million.
Mr. Che noted that his company chose Thailand for this investment because of its global free trade policies, access to natural rubber and status as the largest vehicle production center in the ASEAN region.
Prinx Chengshan was founded in 1976 and listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last October. It sells under the Austone, Chengshang, Fortune and Prinx brands.
Prinx Chengshan continues to produce Roadmaster-brand truck tires for Cooper under a contract that's due to expire this year.
The company is setting up a U.S. sales office in the Los Angeles area to support the launch of an as-yet unnamed truck and bus tire brand in North America. John Aben is president of the new company, Prinx Chengshan North America Inc.