During The Tire Cologne show, which took place in May, we spotted the Landsail Qirin EV concept tyre on the stand of wholesaler Inter-Sprint. It is a concept no longer, as Qingdao Sentury Tire officially debuted the tyre yesterday.
Sentury Tire, the tyre manufacturer behind the global Landsail tyre brand, has outlined its plan to construct a 522.59 million euro car and light truck tyre plant in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. Qingdao Sentury Tire Co, Ltd’s board of directors approved the proposal to build capacity for 12 million high performance and light commercial tyres on a three-year schedule at a meeting in the last quarter of 2021, announcing this intention to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on 19 December. The company has implemented a 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Sentury Tire (Spain) Co, Ltd, via its Hong Kong trading company for the project, and wants to ramp up production in two phases; it expects the plant to reach 50 per cent capacity (six million tyres) after two years, with the second half added after three years. Sentury wants to achieve these milestones in 2024 and 2025 respectively, pending construction conditions in Spain and the availability of funding, which Sentury plans to self-raise.
Having received approval back in June, Qingdao Sentury Tire has successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is now listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (China) as of 11 September 2020. 11 per cent of the company’s shares were valued at 1.31 billion yuan (162 million euros; £149.859 million) by investors, resulting in a theoretical total valuation of 1.47 billion euros. The offered shares offered were oversubscribed 2887 times over. But what is the company planning to do with its newly-raised funds?
Qingdao Sentury Tire reports that its aviation tyres have gained MDA (Modification Design Approval) certification by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) following take-off and landing tests conducted using a Boeing 737 at Yantai Laishan Airport in Shandong Province late last year. This MDA certification, the first given to a privately-owned tyre manufacturer in China, approves Sentury aviation tyres for sale and use within the country.
Sentury and Huagao launched their first electrostatic conducting graphene tyre at the 2016 China International Graphene Innovation Conference (GrapChina) on 22 September. The launch comes less than a month after Sentury and Huagao officially announced their cooperation on the product.
Sentury Tire has selected a plot of land just outside LaGrange, Georgia as the location for its US$500 million US tyre factory, according to various local news sources. Reports in local US newspapers suggest that the decision was made on Thursday 1 September – at which point the choice was between the shortlist of the reportedly successful Georgia location and the Memphis Regional Megasite in Tennessee.
When Tyrepress.com visited Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd in China late last year, newly-appointed executive vice-president Rami Helminen shared details about the US factory project he’d been hired to head. He disclosed that “hundreds of millions of US dollars” would be invested in a factory, and that a search for a suitable site was already underway. It appears the tyre maker has decided upon a location in the state of Tennessee.
Landsail Tyres has refreshed its brand, targeting both the trade and public. The brand is seeking consolidation having become a high-selling brand in the UK market; it states the brand identity will “re-affirm Landsail’s position… by showcasing [its] exceptional value for money.” The brand, produced by China’s Sentury Tire, has grown quickly, with a range spanning over 250 sizes, most recently including Landsail’s first venture into the all-season market, offering comprehensive coverage for the UK market, in which sales are thought to have reached 1.2 million. Landsail itself states that it supplies “one in every 25 tyres sold in the UK.”
One of the most immediately visible tyre brands at this year’s Autosport International show was Landsail. Not only did Group Tyre member Oak Tyres take out a five times bigger stand this year, the company also sponsored the Performance Car Show, which means the brand’s name was being dropped show new releases weeks before the event and that branded hoarding adorned the Performance Car Show’s entrance. When you consider that Oak Tyres also organised a Davanti-branded stand at the show, the company was one of the most prominent tyre brands present.
Step off the plane and into a car at Qingdao airport and it won’t be long before you see a Sentury Tire billboard. While this particular Chinese tyre manufacturer isn’t a global player, it is rapidly internationalising and is selling millions of tyres in Europe (many of which end up in the UK). The firm is expanding very quickly and recent high-profile appointments and off-shore factory investment announcements suggest the firm is well and truly on a growth path. Towards the end of 2015, Tyres & Accessories met with export sales manager Hellen Yang and Davanti vice-general manager Wilson Zhang for a tour of the firm’s large and very modern factory near Qingdao airport.
Oak Tyres has undergone some dynamic changes this year as it adapts its business to a shifting wholesale landscape. The most radical of the company’s developments in 2015 has been the launch of its fully owned private brand Davanti, which Oak’s management most recently supported at CITExpo 2015 in Shanghai. To accommodate operations associated with the new brand, Oak Group Holdings was formed, with the Oak Tyres 100 per cent wholesale business now under this umbrella alongside Davanti Tyres, and promotional merchandise producer Davanti World. With the Davanti product designed as “an opportunity for margin”, in the words of general manager Larry Cross, Oak Tyres’ brand portfolio has increased its scope. Stating that “we have a very clear, defined brand strategy at Oak, which we have refined continuously over the past five years,” Peter Cross, commercial manager at Oak Tyres, told Tyres & Accessories a bit more about the company’s current outlook, and how the second tier “exclusive brand programmes” are offering customers the opportunity “to maximise their profits”.
Growing global demand for Landsail car, high performance and van tyres has prompted Sentury to open a new factory in Thailand and the first Landsail tyres rolled off the production line earlier this week. The new plant will mean a significant increase in the capacity and output of Landsail tyres. A completely automated production line has been introduced, with Sentury investing in the VMI Exxium building machines, which are capable of producing a tyre every 38 seconds.
Cimcorp, which specialises in intralogistics automation reports that Qingdao Sentury Tire Co Ltd. has made the firm’s biggest ever order. According to Cimcorp Sentury has ordered a turnkey material handling solution for its new factory in Thailand.
With Landsail and Grouptyre celebrating their third anniversary this June, the two firms have announced that the partnership is now selling over 1.5 million units a year. Grouptyre became the sole distributor of Landsail in the UK and Ireland when the deal was struck three years ago and, according to both the partners and the unit sales figures, the relationship has gone from strength to strength since then.