Visiting CITExpo in 2018 had the potential to be a gloomy affair. A trade show that has specifically targeted medium-sized tyre Chinese manufacturers as a gateway for raising global interest, the trading environment in major export markets in Europe and North America have not been the most hospitable, with tariffs or anti-dumping duties affecting various product segments. In the UK, we heard from a major Chinese truck tyre importer that business had effectively been put on hold with the announcement that the EU was imposing tariffs in May. Pressure had also been mounting domestically, as the Chinese government moved to bring a halt to production at factories it considered to be too polluting, which led to upstream supply chain problems, as raw materials suppliers to the tyre industry were among those affected.
At the end of April Tyres & Accessories reported that Guizhou Tyre Co. Ltd. announced plans to build a truck tyre factory in Vietnam. Back then, reports suggest the company would invest RMB 1.67 billion (£189.3 million) in the project for a plant capable of manufacturing 1.2 million all-steel radials per annum. The intention was to set up the factory in the Long Jiang Industrial Park, some 30 miles from Ho Chi Minh City where a 20-hectare site had been selected. During the recent Tire+ exhibition in Shanghai, Tyres & Accessories sat down with Guizhou’s general manager of the export division, Jie You, and found out more about the company and its plans.