HANGZHOU, China — Chinese tire maker Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd. (ZC Rubber) generated 28% sales growth last year despite the business interruptions that plagued many major markets.
The company, the world's 10th largest tire maker according to data compiled by Tire Business, generated revenue of over $4.6 billion last year, it disclosed at a Dec. 30 Chinese sales conference in Hangzhou, based on sales of 21.5 million truck/bus radial tires, 44 million passenger and light truck tires and 4.2 million specialty bias tires.
"We have achieved an historical result since our establishment, with breakthroughs in production capacity, sales revenue and economic performance," ZC Rubber Chairman Shen Jinrong said at the meeting, held under the theme: "Innovate into The Great Future."
2020 marked the company's fastest growth year for bias tires, he said, "and we will continue to explore more application scenarios for them."
Mr. Shen said ZC Rubber plans to build a second plant overseas, in addition to its 4-year-old factory in Thailand. The location of this factory has not been disclosed.
In addition, ZC Rubber plans to build a Future Factory at its headquarters in Hangzhou. This provincial-level, government-led project involves a dozen companies in the Zhejiang province, including Alibaba and Hikvision,which are slated to build their own Future Factory. These sites will focus on digital and smart manufacturing.
ZC is planning in the next five years to build what it calls the ZC Rubber Digital Brain, a smart network platform linking manufacturing, supply chain, equipment, channels, services, users and marketing activities for industrial digitalization.
"We will continue to pursue innovation and advance towards a global leading technology-focused tire company," Mr. Shen said. "It's our mission to provide consumers with solutions for a better life."
Mr. Shen told distributors that ZC Rubber's TBR Research Center will focus on building the Flagship Series truck and bus radial tires in 2021, following this year's launch of the Flagship Series passenger car tires.
ZC Rubber Vice President Ge Guorong promised to bolster online and offline channels for different regional markets, including increased digital and online support for distributors to market to people at home during the pandemic.
ZC Rubber pledged continued support for its distributors and growth partners.
"Partnership with customers is an essential element for us," Mr. Ge said.
"In the face of the pandemic, we are going to deliver stronger marketing support across different channels to help our distributors maintain the growth of both market share and sales profit," he said.
"We're confident in the way our business is growing, and we look forward to keeping this momentum in 2021 and beyond."
Mr. Shen also discussed ZC Rubber's newly launched Flagship Series passenger car tire portfolio. He said the tires' performance "can reach or even exceed that of some top brand products."
ZC Rubber ranked among the top 10 global tire companies on Tire Business' Top 75 list in 2020 for the ninth straight year with 2019 tire sales of $3.59 million.
The Hangzhou-based company is represented in North America by Walnut, Calif.-based ZC Rubber America, which has a warehouse distribution location in Statesville, N.C., and sales offices in California, Illinois, Florida and Tennessee.