Following the news that Toyo Tire officially opened its Serbia tyre production plant on 14 December 2022, details of the speeches given by Toyo Tire president and CEO Takashi Shimizu as well as Republic of Serbia president Aleksandar Vučić have been revealed.
On November 2, Linglong held a performance presentation on the operation of the third quarter of 2022. Linglong chairman Wang Feng, board secretary Sun Songtao and heads of relevant departments attended the performance presentation and interacted with investors on Linglong’s business situation.
Recently, Linglong Tire signed a cooperation agreement with CCCC First Highway Engineering Group. CCCC First Highway Engineering Group will lead the continuing construction of the Serbian project of Linglong International Europe into the plant’s next phase. The plant produced its first tyre, an Eplus-01 truck and bus radial tyre, on 27 June. It is reported that CCCC First Highway Engineering Group’s main task is to be responsible for the current and subsequent construction projects and to promote the construction progress of Linglong’s European project. The two parties did not disclose the specific cooperation details.
Since March, cumulative passenger car and light truck tyre imports to the European Union and UK have, for the first time, recovered to run above pre-pandemic levels. This is despite the well-documented impact of sharply higher ocean freight costs in this period, and disruption to production in some source countries. A newly published report by Astutus Research, “European PCLT Tire Demand and Supply Forecasts to 2026”, shows that in the first seven months of 2022, European (the EU-27 plus UK)* imports from outside the region were 11% higher than the same period last year and 5% higher than the equivalent pre-Covid period in 2019.
Linglong Tire recently answered questions from investors via the interactive platform of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The answers reveal details related to developments at the company’s Serbian factory and its Chinese aircraft tyre production plant.
Toyo Tire Corporation achieved a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in net sales in the first half of 2022, with the total rising to 223,667 million yen (£1.373 billion; 1.626 billion euros). At the same time, operating income came in at 25,972 million yen (£160 million; 189 million euros) in the first half of 2022. Both figures outperformed the companies first-half 2022 forecasts.
Toyo Tire’s Serbia car tyre production plant became operational on 27 July 2022. The news is in line with Europe executives’ mid-July comments, which suggested the factory would start making tyres by the end of July. The latest news is that shipments are now beginning to move out and that the company is planning to “preferentially supply the US until the end of this year ” in order to “meet robust demand there”.
Having previously confirmed that tyre production would begin at the company’s Serbia factory during July, Toyo Europe executives are now specifying that tyres will begin rolling off the production line by the end of the month. When full production gets underway, the factory will be pioneering in green electricity terms since it will utilise bifiacial solar panels.
If you design your products in Germany and manufacture them in Serbia, in what sense are they Chinese tyres? A question anyone interested in Linglong’s Hubtrac tyre brand must address. During the recent Tire Cologne exhibition, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Hubtrac UK general manager Dr Edward Xu in order to engage with that particular question and find out more about Linglong’s progress in Europe and beyond.
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.
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.
With the start of production at its new factory in Serbia drawing nearer, Toyo Tire Corporation is changing its organisational structure in Europe. Toyo Tire Europe GmbH, which has served as the sales vehicle and sales headquarters within the region, will be reorganised into a holding company that includes the Serbian plant under its umbrella. From 1 June 2022, the tyre maker will thus be represented in Europe by Toyo Tire Holdings of Europe GmbH.