Doublestar and HF TireTech Group expand cooperation agreement
Qingdao Doublestar Rubber and Plastics Machinery Co. Ltd., the sister company of tyre manufacturer Qingdao Doublestar, has expanded its cooperation with well-known German tyre manufacturing equipment manufacturer HF TireTech Group.
The two companies began their cooperation in the summer of 2014, when they signed a ten-year cooperation agreement related to Truck Tire curing presses. While various sources reported at the time that the agreement will see the Chinese firm produce HF TireTech Group tyre manufacturing equipment under licence, Lutz Herrman Harburg Freudenberger’s head of sales – tire building machines, told Tyres & Accessories this is not entirely correct and the cooperation is perhaps better characterised as a know-how exchange. Under the agreement Doublestar Machinery is exclusively manufacturing particular TBR presses, based on their own drawings, which are to be exclusively sold in China under Doublestar’s own brands and therefore not under the HF TireTech Group name. These have been developed in conjunction with the manufacturing equipment experts at HF TireTech Group hence the cooperation agreement. Therefore the “manufactured by Doublestar, engineer in Germany” slogan is perhaps the best way to sum the arrangement up.
2015 sees the two companies expand their agreement into the realm of tyre tread rubber extrusion technology. Again, the agreement restricts sales of cooperation products to China. Both deals are in the relatively early stages of development and in the meantime there is kind of distribution agreement between the two parties with HF TireTech Group supplying upstream equipment and Doublestar providing downstream equipment.
Moving forward, the HF TireTech Group arrangement shows how the wider Doublestar group is looking to up its technology, but also how the expansion of the tyre business is supported by vertical integration – something that will help Doublestar as the wider Chinese tyre manufacturing business goes through the current consolidation phase.