Titan Aiming for 10-Fold Expansion of Giant Tyre Production
According to Titan International chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor, the US$100 million his company has invested in the area of giant mining tyres is about to pay off. During the course of this year Titan intends to increase the production of these tyres ten-fold, a measure anticipated to propel the company towards Taylor’s goal of tripling sales to $3 billion within a five-year period.
Sales of mining tyres will, hope Titan, compensate for reduce demand for agricultural tyres, currently the company’s chief source of revenue. Taylor, in an interview, expressed his confidence that demand for use in gold, coal and oil mining would continue to be strong. “Big iron, the biggest equipment, will do well,” he said. “What is not going to do well is your riding lawnmower or your smaller tractor for organic farming.” He then expressed his opinion on the viability of various forms of mining in true Taylor style: “The oil sands are still going. I love gold miners. Gold is doing good. Aluminium sucks; ore sucks, copper’s still crappy,” he noted.
From the $100 million set aside, Titan has invested around $82 million in its Bryan, Ohio mining tyre facility, which it purchased from Continental AG in August 2006. Last year the plant produced only about half of forecast output of 900 giant tyres. This year Taylor has set a goal of selling 6,000 to 7,000 57 to 63-inch tyres. “I can make them,” he said. “I just gotta get all the orders.” An analyst appraisal of the company’s 2009 production, reported by Bloomberg, anticipates a more modest 2,000 tyres being manufactured due to reduced activity in some mining sectors.