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Tire company to build plant in North Carolina

By Paul Welitzkin in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-12-21 12:03

A Chinese tire company will build a $580 million plant in North Carolina that will employ hundreds and produce about 6 million tires annually.

"We are a global brand that has had a limited presence in the US market," said Manny Cicero, CEO of CEO of Triangle Tire USA, a subsidiary of Triangle Tyre Co Ltd in China, a well-known tire manufacturer on the mainland for 40 years."This plant will enable us to penetrate the American consumer market and build the Triangle brand."

Cicero and Triangle Tire Chairman Ding Yuhua were in North Carolina on Tuesday to formally unveil plans for the plant. It will be built on the 1,449-acre Kingsboro Megasite in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, about 65 miles east of the state capital of Raleigh.

News reports have said that the plant could employ around 800, and that triangle Tire could get up to $152 million in state and local tax breaks, worker training and other incentives if it meets hiring targets.

Salaries for the new positions will vary, with an average annual salary of $56,450 once all positions are filled. The average wage in Edgecombe County is $32,642, according to a press release from the office of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

The plant will be built in two phases: a passenger tire facility in the first phase and a commercial tire facility in the second.

"We expect to break ground by the middle of 2018 and the first passenger tire produced by the end of 2019. The plant should be fully operational by the middle of 2020," said Cicero.

Cicero said the facility will be highly automated. "It's going to be a smart factory, and there will be hundreds of jobs. While there may not be as many employees as in a traditional tire plant, the ones at our facility will be high-paying positions," he said.

Cicero said Triangle looked at 60 to 100 sites before settling on the North Carolina site. "In the end it was determined that Edgecombe County, North Carolina, was the best choice for the plant," he said. The site is near major highway Interstate 95 and a rail line.

"Triangle Tyre chose North Carolina for its first-ever manufacturing center outside of China because they know our workers share their commitment to innovation, education and excellence," Cooper said in a statement.

Triangle established its American headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, outside of Nashville in 2015 after opening a research center in Akron, Ohio, in 2011. The Franklin facility and the one in Akron have about 10 employees each.

Cicero said there are no plans at this time to move those to North Carolina. "We may look at consolidation in the future," he said.

Triangle Tyre Co manufactures more than 22 million tires a year that are sold in 180 countries. Triangle Tire USA will market medium/heavy truck tires, as well as passenger and light truck tires, including ultra-high-performance, winter and specialty trailer tires. The company also offers off-the-road tires for the construction and mining industries.

Triangle will become the third Chinese tire company to build a production plant in the US.


(China Daily USA 12/21/2017 page2)

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