Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Hayashi Hajime, visited global battery manufacturer GS Yuasa’s factory in Ebbw Vale on Friday 9 July as part of an official two-day visit to Wales to celebrate the strong connections between the two countries. During the visit, Hayashi Hajime toured the plant, which is owned by the Japanese based corporation and celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this year, seeing first-hand how industrial batteries are produced by the 360-strong workforce.
Jiangsu General Technology Co. Ltd, which is known as General Science or Jiangsu General, has announced plans to invest 3.061 billion yuan (£341.930 million; 399.958 million euros; US$473 million) in the construction of a 10.2 million tyre a year factory in Anqing, Anhui Province, China. The announcement of the new Chinese production base follow plans for investment in the construction of a separate factory in Cambodia.
The board of Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd has agreed to build its sixth Chinese tyre factory in Tongchuan City, Shaanxi Province. The construction site is located in Dongjiahe Circular Economy Industrial Park, Yaozhou District, Tongchuan City, Shaanxi Province and will be home to large and modern factory manufacturing tyres for a wide range of business segments.
The board of Shandong Linglong Tire Company Ltd has revised its 10-year “medium and long-term development plan (2020-2030)” to focus on a 7+5 rather than a 6+6 tyre manufacturing capacity expansion model. Up till April 2020, Linglong has worked according to a 5+3 plan, but last year this was upgraded to 6+6, meaning the company plans to run six tyre factories in China as well as six situated in international locations. However, according a stock market filing dated 10 June 2021, Linglong’s board voted unanimously in favour of running a total of seven plants in China and five internationally.
The first batch of radial truck tyres rolled off the production line at Guizhou Tire Co Ltd’s Vietnam plant on 1 April 2021, marking the completion of the first phase of the factory project. When Guizhou Tire’s Vietnam tyre factory, which was funded through a share issue in September last year, gets up to speed it will produce 1.2 million radial tyres a year.
Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.
Aluminium casting and automotive parts specialist, Citic Dicastal kicked off production at its second aluminium wheel factory in Morocco at the end of December 2020. With a budget of 350 million euros, the Chinese wheelmaker aims to double its capacity in Morocco to 6 million wheels and create a total of 1,250 jobs. According to local news reports, the Dicastal-made wheels are destined for vehicles made by the French OEM PSA Group as well as exports.
Toyo Tire Corporation and its Toyo Tire Serbia LLC Belgrade manufacturing subsidiary broke ground at the site of Toyo’s new tyre plant in Indjija City, the Republic of Serbia, on 15 December 2020. Toyo Tire’s eighth tyre manufacturing base is due to start tyre manufacturing operations in April 2022, with a capacity of 5 million passenger car tyres per annum by the summer of 2023.
Bridgestone announced plans to close Béthune, France factory back in September 2020. Now, however, the location looks likely to retain a role in the broader automotive sector after the Japanese tyremaker reported that it has identified 24 opportunities relating to the future of the site. Two of the options relate the sale of the site to other tyre manufacturers. Five of the identified projects concern the installation of new activities on the site in tyre and rubber fields as well as batteries and other sectors. Two of the proposals relate to “the installation of activities outside the site”. Nine projects are said to be in the study phase.
Despite signing an MoU regarding a similar project in Wales in July, Britishvolt has appointed a construction company (ISG) to build a new gigaplant in Blyth, Northumberland, with construction planned to commence in Summer 2021. The result of £2.6 billion investment, it will begin producing lithium-ion batteries for the automotive and renewable energy industries at the end of 2023. Construction of further phases will continue until the end of 2027.
Following the news that the Japanese tyremaker has received free land as part of the state support package for its Serbia tyre plant, the country’s state aid commission has approved the allocation of 41 million euros ($48.7 million) in government financing to Toyo to support the construction of the new factory in Indjija, northern Serbia.
Shandong Linglong plans to increase the capital of its Linglong International Europe Serbian unit by US$174.1 million (146.6 million euros) for the construction of its tyre factory in Zrenjanin, northern Serbia. When finished the factory will require 1,200 employees and produce 13 million tyres per year.
The first truck tyres made at Continental’s greenfield factory in Clinton, Mississippi, US are being delivered four years after the company broke ground on the project. The Clinton plant is Continental’s first new plant for the truck tyre business globally in more than 10 years. It produces large truck and bus tyres for the North American market and will employ 500 people by the end of 2020. Clinton is Continental’s second location producing truck tyres in the US. The other can be found in Mount Vernon, Illinois. According to the Continental, more than 280 employees collaborated safely to deliver the first shipment of tyres.
Askar Mamin, the prime minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, recently hosted the general director of PJSC Tatneft, Nail Maganov, for talks relating the construction of a new tyre factory in Kazakhstan.