Triangle building fifth factory
In November Triangle announced that it is building its fifth plant in Weihai, Shandong Province, China. The news, which was first revealed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas in early November, followed renewed speculation about whether or not the company was planning to build a Russian factory earlier this year. This plans suggestions were denied by managers. However Triangle is internationalising fast and has been operating sales operations in dozens of countries for decades now. Nevertheless Weihai is really the company’s home town.
As Tyres & Accessories reported following a visit at the end of 2011, Triangle has already invested significant amounts in the construction of an enormous manufacturing complex – known as manufacturing base number four – in the vicinity of Weihai following the re-zoning of land upon which its first factory is built by the local government. After this seaside plot was designated a residential development zone, Triangle took the opportunity to purchase a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city with the intention of building a large, modern and ecologically friendly production base.
The news that the company is embarking on a fifth site suggests that the scale is once again going up a gear. According to the company, the new factory will focus on the production of its highest value products and forms part of the business’s ongoing growth strategy.
The word is that the latest plant is designed to produce 8 million units of passenger car tyres a year with an emphasis on performance, winter, SUV and other high-end products. Manufacturing is scheduled to go live at 50 per cent total planned capacity, with a second phase ramping up production to around 100 per cent later.
Currently Triangle produces 6.5 million truck radials a year, a figure that is set to grow to 7 million by the end of 2014. The vision is for the company’s total production capacity to rise north of 24 million passenger radials by 2015/2016. But when you consider that this figure excludes truck tyres and Triangle’s well-known off-the-road products, this is actually even larger than it first sounds. In addition, T&A understands that there are plans for an agricultural tyre production range (which are not yet at the manufacturing stage) as well as suggestions that the firm will enter other segments.