The first tyres may only just have rolled offer the Serbia factory’s production line, but as part of its ongoing plans to increase market share in the European tyre market, Linglong is currently rolling out its Hubtrac designed-in-Germany, made-in-Serbia truck tyre range. One part of that strategy is supply strategic customers across the country. And those include key fleets.
The first tyre manufactured at Linglong’s Serbian factory – an “all steel radial truck and bus tyre” – rolled off the production line at 6:58am on 27 June 2022 China time (23:58 European time). Whatever the precise time, production on 27 June fulfils Linglong Tire chairman Wang Feng’s commitment that the factory would enter its initial manufacturing phase before the end of the first half of 2022.
Chinese listed tyre companies have successively released their 2021 annual reports in recent weeks. Here, Tyrepress analyses these annual reports’ comparing developments in revenue, operating conditions and overseas factory strategy. And the short story is Linglong remains the largest tyremaker amongst the top 10 listed Chinese tyre companies and that Sailun is the fastest growing.
Linglong Tires has confirmed earlier reports that trial tyre production at the company’s Serbia tyre manufacturing plant will commence by the end of the first half of 2022. In other words, the first tyres will roll off the Chinese tyre manufacturer’s Serbian production line by the end of June. Mass production is the next stop. However, since the first date refers to trial production, Tyres & Accessories understands that it will take till around August for the factory to achieve more deliverable output volumes.
In October 2021, Linglong Tire established a strategic cooperation with China-based renewable resources company Cleantire. The tyre maker declares that it was thus the “first tyre company in the world to achieve a strategic alliance with a waste tyre recycling company,” and although others may contest this title, the partnership is nonetheless significant. Linglong chairman and president, Wang Feng, signed a further comprehensive strategic cooperative agreement with Jiang Young, president of Cleantire, during an online ceremony at the start of April 2022.
When sharing the results of both its main summer 2022 test of 50 tyres and the performance-oriented Auto Bild Sportscars tyre test, esteemed European publication Auto Bild commented that the days of Chinese-made tyres failing these tests due to outdated technology are well and truly behind us. Auto Bild spoke about one product from China in particularly favourable tones.
Twenty years is a long time in the tyre business. Back in 2002, products from China were still a relatively unknown quantity and European wholesalers were taking their first, tentative steps towards getting to know Chinese manufacturers a little better. It was a steep learning curve on both sides, but some relationships have endured and thrived over the past two decades. The partnership between wholesaler European Tyre Distributors B.V. (ETD) and Shandong-headquartered Linglong Tire is one such success story.
Wang Feng, chairman and president of Linglong Tire, recently attended the online renewal of the company’s partnership of well-known top-flight German football team VfL Wolfsburg with Michael Meeske, chief executive officer of VfL Wolfsburg. As a result, Linglong Tire will remain ‘Global Club of Champions/Top Partner, Official Tire Partner, and Official Jersey Sleeve Partner’ of VfL Wolfsburg. Linglong also becomes the Official Team Partner Climate of VfL Wolfsburg and the Wolfsburg United project.
Shanghai played host to China’s 11th Philanthropy Festival on 13 and 14 January, and Linglong Tire shares that it was well represented at this event. In addition to the company winning the 2021 Philanthropy Driving Force Award, its chairman and president, Wang Feng, was named Philanthropy Person of 2021.
A ceremony was held on Tuesday to mark the production of the first TBR tyre at the Jilin Linglong plant in Changchun, China, an event concluding the initial phase of work to set up truck and bus tyre manufacturing capacity in Linglong’s fifth local factory and seventh plant worldwide. Local officials and industry leaders, including management from major vehicle manufacturer China FAW, were on hand to witness this important milestone.
On 20 November the D1GP 2021 season finale started in Ebisu, Japan. Racing driver Naoto Suenaga, part of Linglong Tire’s Drift Team Orange won the Tsuiso event while another Linglong driver, Mekuwa Kojiro, was the runner-up.
2021 has been a year of significant strategic developments for the fast-growing Linglong Tire business. On 10 June 2021, Linglong announced plans to invest in a huge tyre manufacturing facility in Tongchuan City, Shaanxi Province, China, which will output a wide range of products including 15.2 million high-performance radial tyres and 500,000 retreaded tyres. That three-phrase project will see construction commence in April 2022 and will be completed in March 2028.
Hubtrac’s global management team has announced that it will increase sales expectations for the fourth quarter of 2021 and complete “the latest market positioning and orientation of Hubtrac tyres by the end of the year.”
Linglong Tire says the start of its original equipment tyre supply to the Honda Crider represents “another milestone breakthrough” for the company in the global OE tyre market. It shipped the first batch of tyres to Guangqi Honda in September 2021, almost three years after commencing development work on OE tyres for the Crider, an exclusive to China model that sits in the Honda range between the Civic and Accord.