Tire and Rubber Technology Accelerates Chinese Growth - Tire Review Magazine

Tire and Rubber Technology Accelerates Chinese Growth

Oliver Haiqing Hua, a tire business analyst, provides Tire Review readers with a periodic insider report on developments within the Chinese tire industry.

People-Republic-China-RS“The promotion of an environment-friendly type of solution-polymerized styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) in the domestic market as a green tire rubber material has become better and better every year,” said Shandong Rubber Industry Association president Zhang Hongmin recently. “SSBR has been widely used in many Shandong tire enterprises including Triangle group and Sailun group. With the implementation of the green tire ‘technical specifications,’ domestic tire enterprises will further accelerate the pace of industrial upgrading, the energy saving and environment-friendly type SSBR market prospects is inestimable.”

According to Li Weiguo, R&D manager at Sailun Technology Center #2, SSBR products have advantages including high purity, and flexible structural adjustment (styrene mass score is 10% ~ 65%, vinyl mass score is 10% ~ 80%). After 40 years of development, countries such as the U.S., Japan, France, Germany and China have established the SSBR production devices.

China’s largest anionic solution polymerization production facility is at the Dushanzi Petrochemical Corp. That plant has an annual production capacity of 100,000 tons of SSBR. Sinopec Dushanzi Petrol Co. senior engineer Tong Lu noted: “Dushanzi Petrol actively carried out fundamental performance evaluation of environmental protective type SSBR products. They have cooperated with universities, and tire companies developed a silica-reinforced system formula. This processing formula is designed for creating a passenger tire with high wet skid resistance, low fuel consumption and low rolling resistance, and good comprehensive properties. This formula made it possible to apply SSBR in the southwest region.”

Sailun Group has been actively involved in the application of SSBR 2557S in the formulation of its green tire treads. The high performance tire made by Jinyu Tyre enterprise successfully entered the European and American high-performance market in 2013. The products are environmentally friendly with good wet skid resistance, low rolling resistance and obvious energy saving effect.

The successful SSBR experience of Jinyu Tyre has boosted its business confidence, and Sailun said it will expand the SSBR application this year, Sailun’s Li said.

Triangle Group Co. engineer Jiao Wenxiu said that a tire with SSBR formulation saw its wet skid resistance index increase by 11.02% and its rolling resistance index decrease by 14.91% in comparison with an emulsion-polymerized styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) tire. At present, the company has started the transition from ESBR to SSBR. By increasing the number of green tires it produces, its share of the tire export has improved.

Yongtai Tyre Leveraging English Acquisition

Last year, Yongtai Tyre teamed up with TIA (GB) Treadsetters Ltd. and acquired the Covpress, one of the oldest manufacturing firms in the world and employs more than 450 people at its factory in Canley, England.

Relying on its English Covpress sales channels, Yongtai has supplied supporting tires for Land Rover, BMW and other high-end cars. Yongtai group plans to invest 40 million yuan on a new low temperature rubber production line with the product performance index increased by 15%.

Founded in 1996, Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Yongtai Tyre is engaged in the production of truck tires, car tires, high-end aluminum magnesium alloy wheels, body panels, engine gearbox parts, structural components, and other auto parts.

Yongtai Tyre is known for its all-steel radial truck tire and semi-steel radial tire production. Yongtai Tyre’s Dongying plant was the first radial passenger tire enterprise with independent research and development, design, and production capacity. It claims to be the only tire supplier in China for the World Rally Championship (WRC).

In the tire industry, Yongtai Tyre focuses on the introduction of advanced technology and high-end equipment investment, R&D and production of “high, fine, sharp products.”

Yongtai Tire products mainly include Durun, Ben Nass, Goodway, Ben Na Fu and other brands of radial car, light truck tire and radial truck tires, as well as M/T light truck and winter tires. Its Durun radial tire brand has been honored as “A Well-Known Trademark in China” title by the State Trademark Bureau, and as a “Shandong Famous Brand” and “Shandong Export Brand.”

Its tires are mainly sold to more than 100 countries in Europe, Australia, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Yongtai has total assets of 350 million yuan, and its tire plant covers an area of 533,333 square meters, with more than 3,000 employees and an annual production capacity of 1.5 million all-steel radial truck tires and six million semi-steel radial tires.

Yongtai Tyre has passed through the ISO9001-2008 international quality system certification, and ISO/TS16949:2002 certification standards, as well as Chinese mandatory product certification (CCC), Germany technology E-mark certification, U.S. DOT certification, Brazil INMETRO certification and Uruguay certification.

SAIC Motor Speeds New Energy Vehicles

In May of this year, SAIC Motor chairman Hu Maoyuan retired, and vice chairman and president Chen Hong was elected as the new chairman. Executive vice president Chen Zhixin was elevated to president.

Recently, the new SAIC Motor chairman Chen appeared in the general meeting of shareholders for the first time. Chen said the scale of SAIC Motor has grown bigger, but its core capability is not strong enough. SAIC Motor’s future, he said, will depend on its innovative ability.

The company’s goal is to become a multinational corporation with worldwide business, international competitiveness and global brand influence.

The future of his company and the entire Chinese domestic automobile industry, Chen pointed out, rests with maintaining a sense of urgency to meet various challenges, including challenges from the industry itself, from the diversification of market consumption, and from the Internet trans-boundary economy.

SAIC Motor, he said, will continue to increase investment in its independent brands, but thinks that SAIC Motor’s individual product lines are too small, and that is the main reason for the low profitability of independent brands. SAIC Motor needs to accelerate and enhance the development of its brand, and accelerate brand influence, including the development of new energy vehicles.

“New energy vehicles will be the high ground for SAIC to seize future development,” Chen said, and SAIC Motor will accelerate the expansion of this technology in order to better meet the needs of users. The key is the quick commercialization of new energy vehicles, and the new energy technologies that will be used in the next generation automobile.

Cheng Shin Tire Invest $1 Billion to Expand Capacity

Cheng Shin Rubber Industry Co./Maxxis International approved the investment of nearly $1 billion over the next few years, targeting new tire plants in Indonesia and Taiwan as well as capacity expansion at mainland China’s factories.

Cheng Shin Tire confirmed earlier plans to invest $320 million in Indonesia automobile and motorcycle tire factory, a 70-acre factory that will be built in the Greenland International Industrial Center in Karawang County.

Specific capacity and employment details are still to be announced. Construction of the factory will start from next year and the production will start in 2016.

This plant is the Taiwanese tiremaker’s first factory in Indonesia and its 11th globally. In Taiwan, Cheng Shin Tire has another budget of $100 million for added motorcycle and automobile spare tire manufacturing. That new plant is located in Yunlin County, and is scheduled to start construction in August.

In the Chinese mainland, Cheng Shin Tire plans to spend about $500 million to $600 million to expand capacity at its Zhangzhou plant (motorcycle and bicycle tires), Xiamen Jimei (passenger car tires) and Chongqing (passenger car tires).

Cooper’s New Asia Pacific Technical Center Opened

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has recently hosted the opening ceremonies for its new Asia Pacific Technical Center in Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province in China.

Cooper’s vice president and general manager of the Asia Pacific region Dr. Cao Kechang and vice president of global R&D Chuck Yurkovich were on the scene and participated in the opening ceremony.

It is reported that the new Cooper Asia Pacific Technology Center has integrated global advanced technology and offers excellent resources. It will bring the Cooper’s research and development capabilities to a new level, promote the development of new products, and help to meet the company’s future development needs. At the same time, the center will consolidate and optimize the close cooperation of Cooper’s Kunshan tire manufacturing with OE customers, provide a better experience for the technical team, and further reduce machine maintenance and testing costs.

Dr. Kechang said, “A successful tire enterprise must be based on strong technology. Since its establishment in 2008, Cooper’s Asia Pacific Technology Center has developed a number of successful products for the Chinese market, the European market, the America market, as well as other world markets. This new Asia Pacific Technology Center has combined a great team and modern equipment, so it will be more successful than ever.”

Toyo Tire & Rubber Strengthens Overseas Production

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. recently announced an overseas investment plan for a period of three years through December 2016. During this period, the company will invest a total of 130 billion yen in the strengthening tire production in North America and Malaysia, so that its overseas tire production ratio will be increased up to 50%, an increase of 15 percentage points in comparison with 2013.

By December 2016, the company’s tire sales are expected to reach 470 billion yen, a growth of 27% compared with 2013, and the operating profit will reach 52 billion yen, a growth of 40%.

Toyo president Akira Nobuki said that in addition to strengthen the existing plant capacity, the company will also consider new plant construction matters.

Linglong Tire SAP-ERP System Implemented

In response to growing enterprise information development, last year Shandong Linglong Tire Co. began working with SAP and Hewlett-Packard China for the implementation of SAP-ERP system.

The information system will include Linglong Tire and the company’s Linyi, Beijing, Hongkong sales branch companies, as well as production bases in Zhaoyuan and Dezhou in China and its plant in Thailand.

Using the system, Linglong Tires will integrate the purchasing, production, inventory, sales, finance and other functional departments. This will satisfy its desire for a unified and standardized service and data management system, and improve enterprise management as well as its competitive capacity.

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