On 7 November, the Shanghai Stock Exchange published the 2023 credit rating report for Qingdao City Construction Investment (Group) Co Ltd. (Qingdao City Investment), the holding company of Qingdao Doublestar and Kumho Tire. Our sister publication Tyrepresschina.com has shared some of the key details contained within the report, which is dated June 2023.
Recently, the tyre manufacturer Qingdao Doublestar received the “Commitment on Delaying the Resolution of Horizontal Competition” from the controlling shareholder Doublestar Group. Doublestar Group stated that “it is not yet ripe for solving horizontal competition through asset injection, which is not conducive to the rights and interests of Qingdao Doublestar, and there is great uncertainty”. It is reported that Doublestar Group has decided to extend the fulfilment period of the original commitment for three years to July 5, 2026. Tyrepress China learned that the Doublestar Group also mentioned that it is “looking for other solutions that are more conducive to solving horizontal competition and can promote the development of Qingdao Doublestar”.
On 9 May, numerous regional and company dignitaries attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Doublestar Tire’s new factory in Cambodia. Doublestar (Cambodia), a joint venture with UBE Development Co. Ltd., aims to meet growing international demand for high-performance radial tyres. The 400,000 square metre plant will have capacities to produce 7 million PCR tyres and 1.5 million TBR tyres annually.
Qingdao Doublestar’s 2022 annual report shows stable revenues and growing losses. While operating income amounted to 3.91 billion yuan (£460 million), an amount fundamentally unchanged from the previous year, the bottom line net loss attributable to shareholders grew 87.93% year-on-year to 601.9 million yuan (£70.82 million).
The Doublestar Group reports that it has signed a cooperation agreement with information and communications company Huawei. According to information posted by Doublestar, the partners will utilise their respective strengths to develop the infrastructure for a 5G network over which tyre pressure, temperature and wear data can be transmitted and shared between vehicles and companies in real-time.
Kumho Tire Europe has a vision to “grow into a major brand,” shares Namhwa Cho. Speaking with the CEO Edit, a show presented outside the UK by BBC StoryWorks, the Kumho Tire Europe president spoke about the tyre maker’s aspirations as well as its experiences during the pandemic and plans to capitalise on mobility megatrends.
It was a difficult birth. As regular visitors to this site are well aware, Qingdao Doublestar Co Ltd.’s acquisition of Kumho Tire was punctuated by more than its share of complications: Threats of mass resignations, bickering over brand name use and questions about financing all belonged to the experience.
Buried within the more than 134 pages of Qingdao Doublestar’s latest semi-annual report is the news that the state-owned tyre maker will extend China’s ‘one belt, one road’ strategy by working with a local partner to establish a tyre production facility in Algeria. The Chinese-language document states that its subsidiary Hong Kong Doublestar signed a joint venture agreement with El Hadj Larbi Pneumatiques during the reporting period.
Qingdao Doublestar Tire, owner of Kumho Tire since July 2018, has once again grown through an acquisition. The Chinese tyre maker says it has completed the purchase of Shandong Hengyu Technology Co., Ltd. for RMB 899 million (£103.1 million). Doublestar disclosed in March that it had signed an agreement with Hengyu Technology’s administrator to acquire 100 per cent equity in the business.
Qingdao Doublestar Group, recently named Antonio Smith Montero as general director for the company in Spain and Portugal. With this announcement the company, which recently acquired Korean manufacturer Kumho Tire and is well-known for its Doublestar, Crossleader and Aosen brands has underlined its commitment to the Iberian tyre market.
China’s largest tyre manufacturer, Zhongce Rubber, has entered the global top ten, research published today by Tyrepress shows. Best known in Europe for its Westlake brand, the company has pushed up in the rankings past Giti Tire – manufacturer of GT Radial – which did not supply 2017 figures before the deadline, Toyo Tires, and Cooper Tire & Rubber, which fell three places. Competition in the lower quarter of the top ten places is fierce, with turnovers for tyres between 2.4 billion euros (Cooper in 13th) and 3.2 billion euros (Maxxis in ninth).
After months of uncertainty, union members within the Kumho Tire workforce voted on 30 March to accept the sale of a 45 per cent stake in the tyre maker to China’s Doublestar Tyre. It is understood that just over 60 per cent of voting union members were in favour of the sale, sparing Kumho Tire from receivership. The deal with unionised employees was sweetened by guarantees of their job security for at least the coming three years.
The clock is ticking, the labour union representing Kumho Tire’s workers still opposes the planned Qingdao Doublestar Tire acquisition, and creditor the Korea Development Bank (KDB) doesn’t think much of the alternative bid proposals announced this week. Time to find an alternative to liquidation is running out.
The latest news from South Korea suggests that local tyre distributor and retail network operator Tire Bank Co. Ltd. would like to purchase the Kumho Tire shareholding that China’s Qingdao Doublestar Tire is currently negotiating to acquire from creditors. The unexpected appearance of the Daejeon-based firm, which hinted it may bid together with one or more partners, further complicates an already drawn out and difficult transaction.