Green tyres a focus for Michelin’s new China factory
Michelin expects its business to gain momentum in China in the coming years, propelled by a fast increase in vehicle sales. This was the word from Philippe Verneuil, president of Michelin China, upon the opening of the company’s $1.5 billion factory in Shenyang. The facility’s opening has been reported by the China Daily, which writes that the Shenyang plant, Michelin’s largest factory in the world, has an annual capacity of more than 12 million car, truck and bus tyres.
“We expect our business to speed up by two to three times over the coming years, as the Chinese tyre industry will maintain booming momentum, boosted by rapid growth of auto sales in recent years,” commented Verneuil. “We have seen the increasing demand for green tyres from discerning Chinese customers, which reflects a supply shortage for our tyres last year.”
“As the largest auto market with solid and stable growth worldwide, the Chinese tyre market is enjoying steady development,” added Michelin managing general partner Jean-Dominique Senard. “Amid such growth, energy conservation and environmental protection have become new trends and considerations for the automotive and related industries. That’s why we have placed heavy investment on having a new factory in Shenyang, which will primarily produce high-performance, green tyres, with our group’s latest leading technologies.”
Senard added that growth in China “is an important part of our ambition to double Michelin’s global sales in emerging markets by 2020.” He added: “We still plan to open a new factory in China, as well as expanding the production capacity of existing facilities, to boost our business development.”
In 2009 China toppled the US as the world’s largest car market, with annual registrations reaching 14.5 million by 2011.