Quincy, Illinois —Titan International Inc. is exploring plans to expand a wheel plant in Turkey and establish wheel manufacturing capacity in Brazil to accompany its existing tire business there, Titan CEO and Chairman Maurice "Morry" Taylor said during the company’s second quarter earnings presentation.
Taylor did not elaborate on Titan’s plans for either potential project, other than to mention in a Q&A session with financial analysts that Titan has signed a confidentially agreement in Brazil covering a potential acquisition.
Wheel manufacturing is a core business unit within Titan—the company was founded in the 1980s as a wheel maker and added tire manufacturing as a revenue stream in 1993—although the company does not break down its sales between wheels and tires.
Titan’s wheel plant in Aydin, Turkey, is one of 18 plants the company lists under its wheel business assets. Titan notes that the plant, operating as Titan Asia A.S., produces wheels for the Turkish agricultural market and is “positioned to support the growing markets in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Bloc.”
Titan produces farm tires in Russia through its Voltyre-Prom subsidiary, acquired in 2013.
Titan’s capital expenditures so far in 2015 are lagging behind 2014 by 27 percent—$22.5 million through June 30 vs. $30.9 million for the first half of 2014. Titan anticipates its capital expenditures for the remainder of 2015 will be roughly $25 million to $30 million.
Taylor also said Titan expects its Titan Tire Reclamation unit—a pyrolysis subsidiary in the Canadian oil sands set up to reclaim rubber, carbon black and steel from OTR tires and conveyor belting—to be operating by April. The company claimed in 2013 it expects its recycling activities to generate $250 million or more a year in revenue from the sale of reclaimed oil, carbon black and steel.
Titan said construction has begun on the unit’s site near Fort McMurry, Alberta, and equipment is being shipped there. Titan has not disclosed its investment in the unit.
The company reported that its capital expenditures were $11.1 million for the second quarter of 2015 and $14.1 million in the second quarter of 2014. Year-to-date expenditures were $22.5 million for 2015 compared to $30.9 million for 2014.
Titan’s sales in the second quarter and six months dropped 28.2 and 27 percent, respectively, to $376.1 million and $778.1 million.