HANGZHOU, China — Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd. (ZC Rubber) is moving forward with plans to build a tire factory in Mexico, at a site near Saltillo in northeastern Mexico about 150 miles from the U.S. border.
ZC Rubber, the world's No. 9 tire maker, said it has picked a site covering nearly 6.5 million square feet for the project, which will include warehousing.
The company at this time did not disclose other details about the project, such as the investment, tire types, capacity or employment, but did say it expects construction of the facility to take about 12 months from groundbreaking.
The strategic positioning of the factory, about 50 miles southwest of Monterrey, makes it an "ideal choice to meet the dynamic demands of both the Mexican and North American markets," ZC Rubber said.
"Our plan to open a tire factory in Mexico demonstrates our commitment to meeting the growing demand for high-quality tires in the region," ZC Rubber Vice President Henry Shen said.
"While we explore this opportunity, we remain focused on our customers' needs and operational efficiency by setting up a complete local distribution network."
The new factory would fit ZC Rubber's "Future Factory" concept, focusing on environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, high automation and overall operational efficiency, the company said.
The plant would be ZC Rubber's third overseas factory. ZC Rubber has a plant in Rayong, Thailand, which opened in 2015, and recently disclosed plans for a factory in Indonesia.
Citing privacy considerations related to a stalled Initial Public Offering, ZC Rubber did not disclose other details of the Mexican factory. The company, which reported $4.18 billion in sales in fiscal 2022, has stated on a number of occasions in the past that its goal is to become the world's No. 5 tire maker within the decade.
The Hangzhou-based company, which goes to market with the Arisun, Chaoyang, Goodride, Trazano and Westlake brands, also operates nine factories in China.
ZC Rubber becomes the second Chinese tire maker to select that country for a manufacturing base.
Sailun Group Co. Ltd. signed a joint-venture agreement in December with Mexico's TD International Holding S.A.P.I. de C.V. for the construction of a car tire plant in León, in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.
These two companies will join seven other international tire makers with manufacturing in Mexico: Bridgestone Corp. (two plants); Continental A.G.; Goodyear (two plants); Group Michelin; J.K. Tornel; and Pirelli & C. S.p.a.