WUXI, China — Chinese tire maker Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd. (JGST) plans to initiate trial production at its car and truck/bus tire plant in Thailand in December, just 12 months after breaking ground on the $300 million project.
JGST disclosed the news in its first-half earnings report, in which the Wuxi-based company reported double-digit drops in sales and earnings.
Located in Rayong Industrial Zone, the $300 million plant is designed to produce 1 million truck and bus tires and 6 million passenger car tires per year.
JGST, which goes to market under the TBB brand, is represented in North America by Statewide Tires Inc. of West Covina, Calif.
With the commissioning of production in Thailand, JGST becomes the sixth Chinese tire maker to have established manufacturing in that country. Others are:
• Double Coin – truck and OTR tires since 2017;
• Shandong Linglong Tire – car/LT and truck/bus tires, since 2013;
• Qingdao Sentury Tire – car/LT tires since 2015;
• Shandong Linglong – car/light truck tires since 2018; and
• Zhongce Rubber Group – car/LT and truck/bus tires since 2015
JGST also is expanding capacity at its main manufacturing site in Wuxi, adding a fully automated "smart plant" there rated at 1.2 million units of truck and bus tires annually.
JGST reported a drop of 15% in net earnings for the first six months of fiscal 2019, to $7.7 million, amid global trade conflicts and China's nationwide downturn in the automotive sector. Sales fell 12% to $240 million.