HANGZHOU, China — Chinese tire maker Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd. has outlined a global expansion plan — one that could include manufacturing in the U.S. — after posting a "historic" fiscal 2020 performance.
The Hangzhou-based company is "eyeing a new overseas plant in America, Europe or the Middle East," as part of its expansion plan, ZC Rubber Chairman Shen Jinrong said during the group's online dealer conference on March 19, without giving further details.
In his comments, Mr. Shen said ZC aims to strengthen its position globally through technological innovation and further expansion.
"We have been pursuing the strategy of technological innovation and have realized the overall improvement in product quality, production efficiency, and quality control since last year," Mr. Shen said at the event, themed "innovate into the great future."
ZC Rubber's growth strategy, Mr. Shen added, includes plans to achieve "full digitalization" and a focus on smart manufacturing and sustainable development.
ZC Rubber told those "attending" the conference that it had generated sales of $4.1 billion during 2020, up 2.25% over 2019.
In terms of growth plan in international markets, ZC Rubber Vice President Ge Guorong said demand was "pretty strong" in several segments and that ZC Rubber aimed to export 15% of its products in 2021.
The company is considered the world's No. 10 tire maker, based on 2019 revenue of $3.86 billion, according to Tire Business calculations.
Mr. Ge told the meeting the company had benefited in recent years from digital marketing and online-to-offline sales expansion.
"ZC Rubber's successful experience in the Chinese market is not only to be enjoyed in China but also shared globally," he added. "Our digital development will empower global distributors and retailers in coming years."
In 2021, ZC Rubber intends a global roll-out of out its top-tier "flagship series" for its Westlake, Goodride, Trazano, and Chaoyang brands. The series made its debut in China last year and features core technologies such as noise reduction and high grip fuel efficiency.
The Hangzhou-based company did not disclose specifics about its 2020 sales performance in North America, where it's represented by ZC Rubber Americas Inc. in Walnut, Calif.