CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Sailun Tire Americas (STA) plans to open a North American research and development center in Chattanooga and has hired industry veteran Terry Edwards to oversee its operations.
Dubbed the Sailun Tire Americas Technical Center (SATC), the 22,380-sq.-ft. structure will serve as a hub of innovation for original equipment and replacement tires across a number of sectors including cars, CUVs, SUVs, light trucks, trucks and buses, and electric vehicles, STA said.
"This new facility will help us achieve our long-term goals of being a leader in the value tier and fulfill the demand for STA products across the continent," STA President Ron Dolan said.
"We will continue to create great tires that meet the specific needs of our customers while still providing the value that our products and brands are known for."
Brampton, Ontario-based STA, a Sailun Group Co. Ltd. subsidiary, oversees importation of the brand in North America. TBC Corp. is the brand's designated distributor in the U.S.
Edwards, SATC's chief technical officer, brings over 40 years of tire industry R&D and manufacturing expertise — including nearly 20 years with Continental Tire the Americas, seven years with Kumho Tire USA and six with Linglong Tire Americas.
STA said establishing SATC marks a "significant step" for Sailun, which looks to deepen its value tier roots in the North American market.
SATC is in the process of securing equipment and hiring staff for the facility. The company did not say how much it is investing in the facility, when it plans to open or how many it will employ at the R&D center.
"The timing for our new technical center could not be better due to the transitioning market in North America," Edwards said. "...Together with our global R&D teams, we are confident that we will provide optimum performing products for the North American market."
Sailun ranks as the No. 17 tire maker in the world, according to Tire Business research, based on fiscal 2020 sales of $2 billion.