WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued 13 new tire plant identification codes in the past year for tire factories worldwide, including six in China and two — perhaps in error — to retreaders.
These additions expand the list of tire plant IDs to 1,088, although 85 of these are assigned to factories that are closed/no longer exist and 25 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 900 factories worldwide that are considered "active."
The 13 codes issued was down from 22 issued in 2019.
Among the new codes are ones for factories in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam opened by Chinese tire makers — Maxtrek Tyre Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.; Prinx Chengshan Tire (Thailand) Co. Ltd. and Advance Tyre (Vietnam) Co. Ltd. — as well as for Pyramids Tires, a new venture that started operations in late 2020 in Port Said, Egypt.
The two codes issued to retreaders are for Reifen Hinghaus G.m.b.H. of Dissen, Germany, and Suntex Rubber Enterprise Co. Ltd. of Taipei, Taiwan. It's not known at this time whether these companies were issued new tire manufacturing codes in error or whether both or either have plans to expand into new tire manufacturing.
The DOT also issues manufacturing ID codes for retread plants.
The new codes issued are for:
- Advance Tyre (Vietnam) Co. Ltd., Tan Phuoc, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam — 055;
- Heda (Shandong) Rubber Technology Co. Ltd., Dongying, Shandong, China — 04Y;
- Jinhua Diaqiang Rubber Products Institute, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China — 04R;
- Maxtrek Tyre Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Kuantan, Pahan, Malaysia — 04M;
- Prinx Chengshan Tire (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Nong Yai, Chonburi, Thailand — O4N;
- Pyramids Tires, Port Said, Egypt — 053;
- Reifen Hinghaus G.m.b.H., Dissen, Niedersachsen, Germany — 04T;
- Shandong Shenghai Rubber Co. Ltd., Dongying, Shandong, China — 04V;
- Shandong Yousheng Tyre Co. Ltd., Shouguang, Shandong, China — 04P;
- Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co. Ltd., Dongying, Shandong, China — 052;
- Sundance Industries Co. Ltd., Samrong Torng, Kampong Speu, Cambodia — 04W;
- Suntex Rubber Enterprise Co. Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan — 04H; and
- Tirevolution Enterprise Ltd., Hong Kong, China — 050.
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:
- Advance Tyre (Vietnam) is the first offshore production site for China's Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd., producer of the Advance and Samson brands. The plant in Tien Giang Province, adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City, is rated 1.2 million truck/bus tires per year. Guizhou Tyre is represented in North America by North American Commercial Tire Resources Inc. — aka GTC North America/Great Lakes Tire — in North Canton, Ohio.
- Heda (Shandong) is an affiliate of Shandong Huasheng Rubber Co. The factory, opened in 2019 in Guangrao Economic Development Zone in Shandong Province, is rated at 1.2 million units/year of heavy-duty steel radial tires. Shandong Huasheng goes to market using the Habilead, Huasheng, Kapsen, Taitong and Terraking brand names.
- Jinhua Daqiang Rubber Products Research Institute is a producer of tires for two- and three-wheelers and small electric vehicles, using Wei Pu as a brand name.
- Maxtrek Tyres is a name used by China's Zhaoqing Junhong Corp. Ltd. in the international marketplace. The factory in Kuntan, Malaysia, is the company's first outside of China and is rated at 6 million car and light truck tires and 500,000 truck/bus tires a year. The company goes to market with the Antares and Maxtrek brands.
- Pyramids Tires is the first new factory built in Egypt in 25 years. It has capacity for light truck, motorcycle, agricultural and industrial tires, but no capacity figures have been disclosed publicly.
- Reifen Hinghaus G.m.b.H is a Germany-based retreader doing business as King Meiler.
Shandong Shenghai Rubber is a Dongying, Shandong-based producer of car, truck and OTR tires, using the WindLong, Opals, Glede and Naaats brand names.
- Shandong Yousheng Tyre is a Chinese company focused primarily on truck/bus tires, going to market under the TrueFast brand name.
- Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co. is a producer of all-steel radial tire truck tires, marketed under the Joyroad and Centara brands.
- Suntex Rubber Enterprise is a Taoyuan, Taiwan-based truck tire retreader.
- Tirevolution is an enterprise registered in Hong Kong.
Tire Business published a curated version of the DOT tire plant code list in its Dec. 21 edition, known as The Book. The publication also offers a complete summary of all DOT codes through its Data Store.