HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s joint venture tire plant in Vietnam, A.C.T.R., has started producing trial-run tires less than a year after Cooper and Sailun Vietnam Co. Ltd. agreed to form the venture.
The partners marked the milestone first tire Nov. 18 at a special event held at the facility, Cooper said.
The plant — located at Sailun's existing site in Phuoc Dong Industrial Park in Tay Ninh Province near Ho Chi Minh City — is expected to be operational and producing tires on a commercial level by early 2020, Cooper said. At full capacity, production is expected to be approximately 2 million truck/bus tires annually.
Cooper and Sailun Vietnam — a subsidiary of China's Sailun Group Co. Ltd. — agreed in mid-December 2018 to form the 35/65 joint venture for producing radial truck and bus tires for global markets. The partners budgeted $220 million to $240 million for the project, split on a pro-rata basis.
"Cooperation between Cooper and Sailun has been outstanding, and we thank our partner Sailun for working so closely with us over the past several months to construct this facility," Cooper Tire President and CEO Brad Hughes said.
"This is another important step in Cooper's strategy to expand and diversify our TBR production globally, giving us additional capacity to supply quality Roadmaster TBR tires to customers worldwide."