Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Sailun Vietnam Co. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. inaugurated their Vietnam joint venture ACTR with 2 million unit annual capacity for truck and bus tire on 18 Nov.
The tire plant is located at Sailun’s existing site at Phuoc Dong Industrial Park in Go Dau county, Tay Ninh province, near Ho Chi Minh City.
It is one of the fastest tire projects of its size globally, with groundbreaking this March and production of its first tire in October, said an announcement by Sailun.
The facility is expected to ramp up to commercial production by early 2020.
The joint venture is 65% owned by Sailun and 35% by Cooper, which contributed €250 million and €200 million in the project respectively. The plant has 1,200 employees and features "highly automated manufacturing processes".
Roughly 90% of the plant’s production will sell to the US and European markets, said Sailun. It will reach 90% capacity utilisation rate in the second year of production and with estimated sales of €249 million.
Cooper and Sailun Vietnam — a subsidiary of China's Sailun Group Co. Ltd. — agreed in mid-December 2018 to form the joint venture for producing radial truck and bus tires for global markets.
"Cooperation between Cooper and Sailun has been outstanding, and we thank our partner Sailun for working so closely with us over the past several months to construct this facility," Cooper Tire President and CEO Brad Hughes said.
"This is another important step in Cooper's strategy to expand and diversify our TBR production globally, giving us additional capacity to supply quality Roadmaster TBR tires to customers worldwide."
Being able to source truck tires from Vietnam will help Cooper avoid having to pay the elevated anti-dumping and countervailing import duties imposed by the US in early 2019 on truck tires from China.
Through the first nine months of fiscal 2019, Cooper reported its earnings had been reduced by about $38 million (€34 million) in higher costs related to the US import duties on tires from China.