Article from the annual ERJ China Tire Report 2016, published as a supplement in the July/August issue of European Rubber Journal magazine:
While 2015 saw a general downtrend in China’s tire industry, developments within the sector were not limited to plant closures and capacity reduction.
A trend which has seemingly gathered pace in recent years is Chinese manufacturers’ appetite to expand overseas capacity, largely but not exclusively in southeast Asia.
Despite some higher upstream costs – including purchase of synthetic rubber, carbon black, antioxidants, steel cord and the likes – Chinese tire makers have embarked upon overseas manufacturing projects with more than $1.6 billion total investment.
In Thailand, household names such as Zhongce Rubber, Sentury and Linglong have already built or are about to complete new plants and have even started expansion projects.
In Rayong, Thailand, Zhongce Rubber is ramping up production of car and truck tires at its year-old factory, to reach its target of 4.2 million passenger and light truck radials and 700,000 truck/bus radials per year.