Linglong reports that it is “conducting on-site inspection, analysis and comparison of the third overseas base”, according to a statement released to institutional investors. However, behind the headline-grabbing references to a new further overseas factory which may well be in “the Americas”, Tyrepress China noticed that the tyre manufacturer revealed multiple details about progress with the Serbian factory. Specifically, Linglong said: “Many customers are looking forward to supplies from Serbia and are pressing for them. The company will speed up the construction progress in Serbia”.
Toyo Tire Holdings of Europe has formed an industry-university partnership for the research and development of sustainable raw materials with the University of Novi Sad in Serbia. Toyo Tire corporate officer Kenta Kuribayashi and University of Novi Sad faculty dean Biljana Pajin signed the agreement on 3 November in Serbia’s second-largest city. Toyo Tire produces tyres in Serbia. The Japanese manufacturer said that it intends to promote technology development through this industry-university partnership and wishes to contribute to educational policies in Serbia.
Recently, Linglong revealed the latest situation of its Serbian factory. It is reported that for the business needs of the Serbian company, Linglong recently added a credit guarantee of approximately 18 million euros to the subsidiary. As of 30 September 2023, the total assets of the Serbian factory were about 7.94 billion yuan (about £893 million; €1.026 billion).
On 1 August 2023, the Hubtrac tyre brand relocated its European operational headquarters and production facilities to Serbia. Strategic departments were inaugurated in the UK and Germany, marking the completion of a Europe-centric operational structure. The goal? The establishment of an undeniably European tyre brand alongside the already-established product R&D centre in Germany. According to the company, “this strategic shift heralds the dawn of a new era.” Tyres & Accessories met with the director of the Hubtrac brand and marketing department, Edward Xu, in order to learn more.
As of 1 July 2023, Yoji Imura has taken on new responsibilities at Toyo Tires. The former president of Toyo Tire Serbia LLC is now chairman and chief executive officer of the Serbian business. Kadir Aykut Gidergi, previously plant manager in Serbia, is now president and chief operating officer of Toyo Tire Serbia LLC, effective 1 July.
Toyo’s European operation held an opening event at its Serbian factory on 5 June. The company was celebrating the start of deliveries to Europe of tyres manufactured at the plant; it had already been producing tyres for the North American market in Serbia as the plant went through the process of obtaining the correct certifications for Europe. With these procedures completed, the plant is now producing two patterns for Europe: the best-selling Proxes Comfort and the increasingly popular all-season tyre, Celsius AS2. These two products alone represent around 30 per cent of all of its tyres sold in Europe.
Five months after the opening its new tyre factory in the Municipality of Indjija, Toyo first Serbia-made tyres have arrived in the UK. Aboard this historic shipment are the Proxes Comfort, the passenger and eco car-targeted offering from the Proxes range.
In 2022, Linglong Tire’s revenue was 17 billion yuan (approximately £1.94 billion; €2.24 billion). Within that, Linglong achieved a revenue of 16.73 billion yuan (about £1.91 billion; €2.2 billion) specifically from tyres. Linglong balanced its domestic and overseas businesses but the revenue brought in by domestic trade was slightly higher. The company’s tyre sales in China reached 8.55 billion yuan, and its export and overseas sales reached 8.18 billion yuan.
The opening of its new tyre factory in Zrenjanin, Serbia, makes Linglong Tire the first Chinese tyre manufacturer to build a production base in Europe. Truck tyre production represents the first phase of the enormous overall 999-million-euro project that represents the largest single foreign investment in Serbia and will soon feature car tyre production followed by the manufacture of agricultural and OTR tyres. Ahead of its official opening, as well as an interview with Linglong Tire chairman, Wang Feng, Tyres & Accessories had an exclusive tour of the site including a close-up view of the truck tyre production line.
Following reports that Avon is set to become a two-wheel/motorcycle-only tyre brand in Germany in the future, Goodyear representatives have sought to clarify that the Avon brand will remain in the company’s product portfolio both for passenger and motorcycle tyres.
The European passenger car and light truck tyre (PCLT) import market recovered substantially from its bout of Long Covid in the second half of 2022 as the benefits of local versus remote production took an unexpected hit. A perfect storm of significantly lower freight costs and high European energy costs nudged the dial on the relative competitiveness of imports and domestic PCLT tyre production in the second half of 2022. Looking at the European PCLT tyre market through the prism of imports, leading sector analyst Astutus Research shares with Tyres & Accessories its data demonstrating the effects of a rapidly changing market context. The latest Astutus Research briefing, ‘Supply Dynamics in the European PCLT Tire Industry to 2028’, priced at £995 is available now on Tyrepress.