Memphis, Tennessee — Local media in Georgia and Tennessee are reporting that China’s Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. is considering sites in their states for its proposed U.S. tire plant.
Sentury, which earlier this year confirmed its intention to build a plant in the U.S., declined to comment on the reports, in the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun, and Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The Sun reported this past week that Sentury is considering the Memphis Regional Megasite, a 4,100-acre industrial development zone located 25 miles northeast of Memphis operated by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).
The Sun said Chassen Haynes, director of business development with the DECD, the state’s Economic and Community Development office, told the Memphis Regional Megasite Authority Board recently a “foreign ownership” group was scheduled to visit the site in early August and that a factory and test track is under discussion.
Sentury earlier said its plans call for a “highly automated smart tire factory” — along the lines of its existing plants in China and Thailand — with a target annual capacity of 10 million tires. The company has established a budget of “several hundred million dollars.”
Sentury Tire Americas, Qingdao Sentury’s U.S. subsidiary, already has a presence in the area, having opened a distribution center in early 2015 on the east side of Memphis.
Sentury — originally Sentaida Group Co. Ltd. — was rated No. 50 on the 2015 Tire Business Top 75 list of global tire makers, with fiscal 2014 sales of $314 million. It goes to market with three brand names — Delinte, Landsail and Sentury.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Sentury is interested in a site “outside of Atlanta,” perhaps near the Kia Motors Co. plant in West Point.
A commercial delegation composed of Georgia state politicians and business and transportation leaders — led by Chris Carr, the director general of Economic Development Bureau of Georgia, and Chris Riley , the director of governor office of Georgia — visited Sentutry’s Qingdao headquarters to discuss investment possibilities in Georgia.