Double Coin Exploring Plant Options, Joint Ventures - Tire Review Magazine

Double Coin Exploring Plant Options, Joint Ventures

Liu Xunfeng, chairman of Huayi Shanghai (Group) Co.

Chinese tire manufacturer Double Coin Holdings is exploring the possibility of opening its first plant outside China.

Liu Xunfeng, chairman of Huayi Shanghai (Group) Co. that owns 66% of Double Coin, told trade media during a recent trip to China that the company is conducting feasibility studies for plants outside the country. Liu first mentioned Thailand as a possible site for a factory, but when later asked he did not rule out the United States as an option.

“A couple of Chinese manufacturers have already set up factories in Thailand,” he said. “We also have very good cooperation on the side of rubber with companies in Thailand. So Thailand may be another option, but we’re also considering the option of the U.S.”

Liu noted that a plant outside China is not guaranteed, the company is only thinking about it. He also said if Double was to open a location in the U.S. it would need further study into policy, unions and more.

“For a Chinese company to sell products in the U.S. is one thing. To set up a plant in America is another thing,” Liu said.

The United States is Double Coin’s largest export market. The tiremaker sells TBR tires within the U.S. via China Manufacturer’s Alliance, of which it owns majority share.

CMA also sells OTR tires for Double Coin, but due to recent OTR tariffs, the company has suspended imports of OTR tires. This suspension has affected 1/3 of Double Coin’s OTR sales, Liu said.

CMA will continue to sell OTR tires until it’s warehouse stock is depleted.

In addition to TBR and OTR tires, Double Coin produces passenger tires domestically. Liu did not divulge what type of tires Double Coin may produce if it set up a plant outside China.

Liu also said Double Coin would like to operate a joint venture with an American tire company. Liu named Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. specifically, but said the company would be interested in working with any tiremaker that operates inside the U.S.

Double Coin already operates a joint venture to produce Warrior passenger tires domestically with Michelin Groupe. Additionally, its parent company state-owned Huayi already has relationships with several U.S.-based companies, Lui shared.

“Of course we want to have cooperation with American tire companies. If there are any opportunities we’re open,” he said.

Liu said Double Coin would be interested in moving some of its capacity to a U.S. factory and opening capacity at one of its five Chinese factories as part of any venture. However, Liu said any venture must be a win-win; not only must both tire companies benefit but the customer as well.

Read more from chairman Liu’s interview and the visit to Double Coin’s factories in an upcoming issue of Tire Review.


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