South China Tire & Rubber – New Kid on the Block
The global tyre industry is littered with famous names, with some companies proudly boasting traditions that go back decades – in some cases over a century.
However, the industry is a dynamic one, with new names appearing all the time. This is especially true in today’s emerging industrial economies, of which the most visible example is that of China, which is rapidly climbing the list of major consumers of commodities such as steel and rubber.
One of the many companies in our industry contributing to this phenomenon is South China Tire & Rubber (SCTR), which was established in 1988 and began production four years later. SCTR claims to be the first modern enterprise in the Chinese tyre industry to have bought in internationally advanced technology to manufacture radial tyres. The main production and testing machines come from the USA, Japan and Europe, with many building machines sourced from VMI in The Netherlands. As well as equipment, SCTR has recruited expertise and personnel from internationally famous tyre manufacturers.
Located in Guangzhou city, close to Hong Kong, SCTR has around 3,000 employees, 209 of whom are engineers. The success of the company has meant the establishment of a second factory, with an area of 600,000 square metres, scheduled to begin production in 2006 with an initial output of two million passenger and light truck radials. SCTR also plans to begin production of OTR tyres and the combined output of the two plants is expected to reach 15 million tyres within five years.
South China Tire & Rubber owns two brand names – Wanli and Sunny – and manufactures a wide range of radials, including passenger car, light truck and truck tyres. The majority of its products are exported to over 80 countries across the globe, as far apart as the USA, various European states and Australia.
Every year, SCTR aims to launch more than 40 sizes on to overseas markets – latterly, the company has been enjoying some success with its UHP range of tyres, designed and produced entirely in-house. This range consists of passenger tyres from 17 – 24 inch, in V-, W- and Y-speed ratings. The V-rated tyres won the National New Product Award and an 18 inch, Z-rated tyre won the first prize of National Science and Technology Progress.
Products from SCTR have achieved numerous domestic and international quality certifications and awards and the tyres are fully E-marked and DOT-registered.
So, South China Tire & Rubber may not have the traditions of other, longer-established companies in the tyre industry, but it does have the advantages of being able to begin from scratch and the boundless enthusiasm of its workforce. This in turn leads to more tangible benefits; in the seven years from 1998 to 2005, SCTR has achieved annual growth rates in excess of 26 per cent and has developed into one of China’s largest producers of radial tyres. With the new factory set to come on stream and a concerted effort on increasing export sales, the name of South China Tire & Rubber looks set to become better-known in the world’s tyre markets.