WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued 27 new plant identification codes in the past year for tire factories worldwide, including 11 in China, three in Sri Lanka and two in Cambodia
These additions expand the list of tire plant IDs to more than 1,140, although over 100 of these are assigned to factories that are closed or no longer exist and 30 or so to facilities that don't make tires.
There also are at least 50 to 60 factories worldwide with two or more distinct "original" two-place codes, leaving roughly 975 factories worldwide that are considered "active."
Among the new codes are ones for Group Michelin factories in Brazil that it acquired in 2016 in its purchase of Levorin Pneus e Camaras — in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo, and Unidade Manaus, Amazonas — and one for Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.'s factory in Yunlin, Taiwan, one of two plants it runs in Taiwan.
Kenda Rubber explained that the Yunlin factory up to now has produced primarily bicycle tires, but that obtaining a DOT code for this plant gives the company flexibility in terms of products for export destinations other than the U.S. that require DOT stamping as well as for temporary spare tires Kenda supplies to U.S. original equipment customers.
Kenda's other plant, in Yuanlin, Taiwan, produces passenger and light truck tires, but due to the elevated U.S. tariffs — in place since June 2021 the company has shifted most the factory's output to products for other markets.
The list also includes codes for a pair of Indian companies that have established sales companies in the U.S. in the past year or two: Mahansaria Tyres Pvt. Ltd. and Ralson Tyres Ltd.
The list also includes one issued in error, to Johnny Tire Service Unlimited L.L.C. in Jacksonville, Fla. Jonathan Ramdhan, manager of the company, said he notified the DOT of a name change for this company but did not intend to apply for a new tire code.
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The companies that were issued codes, listed alphabetically, are:
- ATC Tires AP Pvt. Ltd. (a Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. subsidiary), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India — 063;
- Cart Tire Co. Ltd. (a Sailun Group subsidiary), Krong Svay Rieng, Cambodia — 05Y;
- Ceylon Tire Manufacturing Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., Hambantota, Sri Lanka — 061;
- Ferentino Tyre Corp. (Pvt.) Ltd., Horana, Sri Lanka — 062;
- Fujian Hexing Rubber Co. Ltd., Sanming, Fujian, China — 06U;
- Global Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd., Badalgama, Sri Lanka — 06A;
- Granstellar Tires Co. Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan — 06N;
- Guangzhou Diamond Tire Co. Ltd., Guangzhou City, Guangdong, China — 06H;
- Jiamei (Shandong) Rubber Co. Ltd., Dongying Shandong, China — 06W;
- Jinyu (Vietnam) Tire Co. Ltd., Trang Bang Town, Tay Ninh, Vietnam — 057;
- Johnny Tire Service Unlimited L.L.C., Jacksonville, Fla. — 068
- Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., Yunlin, Taiwan — 06C;
- Lean Soon Tyre Sdn. Bhd. Selangor, Malaysia — 06B;
- Mahansaria Tyres Pvt Ltd. Bharuch, Gujarat, India — 06D;
- Qingdao Aaron Industry Co. Ltd. Qingdao, Shandong, China — 06K;
- Qingdao Marris Rubber Co. Ltd., Qingdao, China — 06J;
- Qingdao Zhengya Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., Qingdao, Shandong, China — 056;
- Ralson Tyres Ltd., Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh, India — 066;
- Rizhao Hanma Tire Corp., Rizhao, Shandong, China — 06T;
- Shandong Baoli Sciency & Technology Co. Ltd., Linyi, Shandong, China — 065;
- Shandong Hengda Rubber Co. Ltd., Dongying, Shandong, China — 06V;
- Sociedade Michelin Participacoes, Industria e Comercio Ltda - Unidade Guarulhos, Sao Paulo, Brazil — 06R;Sociedade Michelin de Participacoes, Industria e Comercio, Ltda. - Unidade Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil — 06P; and
- Xing Yunshi Tire Foreign Trade Co. Ltd., Malai District, Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia — 067;
- Zhejiang Tianzhou Wheel Co. Ltd., Qzhou, Zhejiang, China — 06E; and
- Zhucheng Luyang Tire Co. Ltd., Weifang, Shandong, China — 06M.
Tire makers seeking to sell their products in the U.S. are not required to test their tires, but tires sold in the U.S. are subject to random testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with penalties assessed if the tires fail to be in compliance with federal standards.
Tires found not in compliance with these federal standards will be subject to recall, and the manufacturer is subject to civil penalties of up to $6,000 per tire — up to a maximum of $17.4 million for any related series of violations, according to agency documents.
In 2015-16, the DOT shifted the process for tire plant IDs to a three-place alpha-numeric code, after determining the two-place system in place up to then would be insufficient to handle expected demand growth. The two-place codes will continue to be valid through 2025.
To simplify the upgrading process for those factories with two-place codes, the DOT in all but a few cases added the numeral "1" in front of the existing code to create the new code. Exceptions to this practice are those codes that include "G," "S" or "Q" due to the potential for misreading an S for a 2 or G and Q for 0, for example.
Among the companies granted a DOT code in the past year:
- ATC Tires' plant in Visakhapatnam is the Yokohama Rubber subsidiary's third off-highway tire plant in India. Rated at 69 metric tons per day initially, the plant's factory's capacity is scheduled to nearly double to 132 tons daily by the first quarter of 2024.
- Cart Tire Co. is a subsidiary of China's Sailun Group Co. Ltd. that started trial production in November 2021 at its factory, in the Qilu Special Economic Zone in Svay Rieng, Cambodia. The plant's capacity is rated at 9 million passenger tires a year.
- Ceylon Tire Manufacturing is a projected $300 million investment announced in late 2020 by China's Shandong Haohua Tire Co. Ltd., with a projected start-up by 2023. Current status unknown.
- Ferentino Tyres is an enterprise backed by United Arab Emirates-based investment company Onyx Group, opened the plant in Horana, Sri Lanka, in June 2021. The plant, originally to be called Rigid Tyre Corp. (Pvt.) Ltd., has a rated capacity of 2.4 million units/year for passenger, SUV, truck and two- and three-wheeler tires, around 80% of which will be exported. The company has set up a U.S. distribution subsidiary in Plymouth, Ind.
- Fujian Hexing Rubber is a subsidiary of Fujian Jianxin Rubber Co. dedicated to producing inner tubes, under the Huilicheng brand domestically and "R" brand in international markets. Products cover from bicycle tubes to heavy truck tubes.
- GRI is a Colombo, Sri Lanka-based producer of pneumatic agricultural and construction tires and pneumatic and solid materials-handling tires. In business since 2002, GRI has operations in nine countries, including the U.S., where it has an import and distribution subsidiary in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
- Granstellar Tires is a Taipei-based contract manufacturer going to market with Granstellar-brand tires manufactured by an unidentified third-party producer. It's not known what the company intends to do with its own DOT code.
- Guangzhou Diamond Tire is a motorcycle tire maker established in 2009 by Guangzhou International Co., Ltd., South China Rubber & Tire Co. Ltd. and Guangzhou Fengli Rubber & Tire Co., Ltd. The company goes to market with the "Diamond" brand.
- Jiamei (Shandong) Rubber is a producer of car mats and other automotive rubber products. Plans for tires are not known.
- Jinyu (Vietnam) Tire, a subsidiary of China's Jinyu Tire Group, opened in 2021, with a rated capacity of 2 million truck and bus tires per year. The company said around 30% to 40% of capacity would be reserved for making products for the U.S.
- Lean Soon Tyre is a Selangor, Malaysia-based tire distributor and retreader. The company has not disclosed its reason for applying for a DOT code.
- QingDao Aaron Industry is a producer primarily of wheelbarrows, handcarts, tools, etc. based in Qingdao, China, but which also produces motorcycle and OTR tires. It's not know what brand or brands Qingdao Aaron uses.
- Qingdao Marris Rubber is a Qingdao-based manufacturer of bias-ply and radial passenger, light truck, medium truck, farm, industrial, OTR, etc. tires.
- Qingdao Zhengya Rubber is a Qingda-based producer of motorcycle tires and tubes under the Yenyare brand.
- Rizhao Hummer Tire (formerly known as Chongjiu Tire Factory) operates a factory in Rizho City, China, with an annual production capacity of 1.5 million bias-ply light truck, farm and OTR tires under the Chongjiu, Belado and Tough Horse brand names.
- Shandong Baoli Science is a producer of motorcycle tires and inner tubes. Founded in 2000, it operates one plant in Qinglan Industrial Park, Linyi, Shandong, with a daily production capacity of 100,000 tires and 200,000 inner tubes.
- Shandong Hengda Rubber is a motorcycle tire and tube producer that goes to market with the Ulater brand. Annual capacity is listed as 3 million units.
- Xing Yunshi Tire Foreign Trade Co. Ltd. is an enterprise registered in Cambodia. Additional information is not available.
- Zhejiang Tianzhou Wheel is an enterprise focused on the research, development, design, production, and sales of aluminum alloy wheels. The company's leading products include aluminum alloy wheels for automobiles and motorcycles. The firm's plans for tires are not known.