CHANGSU, China — Sumitomo Rubber (China) Co. Ltd. has disclosed plans to phase out the production and distribution of truck and bus tires in China, starting in 2023.
In a Chinese-language statement issued Aug. 22, the maker of Dunlop-branded truck and bus tires said it would "no longer produce and sell truck and bus tires for the Chinese market" as of 2023.
And, starting from April 2024, Sumitomo Rubber China will no longer produce truck and bus tires for overseas markets, according to the company's announcement.
Aftersales services will continue until 2025, the company said.
With the decision, the company will "fully concentrate its resources to respond to market changes," and further focus on the development and production of passenger tires, particularly those for use on "new-energy" vehicles and their aftermarket services in-line with China's energy transition.
With consumer demand for replacement tires for passenger cars on the rise, Sumitomo Rubber said the new strategy will help it "take a faster pace on the new-energy track."
Sumitomo Rubber operates two tire plants in China, in Changshu City, Jiangsu, and in Changsha, Hunan. The new policy affects the 18-year-old Changshu factory, which makes passenger and light truck tires in addition to truck/bus radials. Capacity is listed as 7,200 metric tons per month.