CHANGCHUN, China — Linglong Group has started production of truck/bus tires at its new factory, the $700 million Changchun Tire Factory.
The start of production comes 18 months after Linglong, the world’s 12th largest tire manufacturer, according to tire company calculations — announced plans for the factory. It marks the first phase of Linglong’s plans for the plant, which will eventually produce passenger tires as well.
Linglong expects the plant to be able to produce 1.2 million truck/bus tires per year in phase one.
The 6.46 million square feet. The plant is located in the Changchun Automobile Economic and Technological Development Zone, home to a range of automakers including FAW-Volkswagen and FAW Jiefang.
Linglong said the factory has “world-class advanced manufacturing equipment” which makes extensive use of industrial cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G and other advanced technologies.
The facility “fully integrates” tire design, production, management, logistics and marketing, and uses data analytics for early warning, process optimization and production intelligence, Linglong added.
The overall “leapfrog technology development” will improve productivity and “overall greening”, the Changchung-based tire company said.
The first tire produced was an E-Plus01, an ultra-low rolling resistance all-steel tire with an AA EU rating, according to Linglong.
The tire maker inaugurated the Changchun plant in August 2020 as part of its “7+5” global expansion strategy.
The project has three phases, which will result in a plant capable of producing 12 million passenger, 2 million truck/bus tires and 200,000 retread truck/bus tires per year.
The distribution of the phases is as follows:
- First phase: 1.2 million truck and bus tires
- Second phase: 400,000 tires for trucks and buses and 6 million tires for passenger cars
- Phase three: 400,000 truck and bus tires, 6 million passenger car tires and 200,000 retreaded truck and bus tires
Linglong expects the plant to generate about $670 million in annual revenue and an operating rate of 8% when fully operational.
The factory is Linglong’s fifth in China, where it has two more under construction.