Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Sailun Vietnam Co. Ltd. are forming a joint venture and plan to build a tire factory to produce truck and bus (TBR) tires in Vietnam.

The plant will be built near Ho Chi Minh City at the site of Sailun Vietnam's existing operations.

Cooper will own 35% of the joint venture.

Construction of the plant is to begin in early 2019, and tire production is expected to begin in the first half of 2020. The plant will have the capacity to build 2 million TBR tires annually.

The total investment in the facility and equipment is expected to be $220 million to $240 million.

“The JV announced today is another step forward in Cooper’s strategy to expand and diversify our TBR tire production globally, giving us additional capacity to help serve our growing original equipment and replacement TBR business around the world,” says Brad Hughes, CEO and president of Cooper. “We are very pleased to build on the great relationship we have with Sailun to help us address opportunities in the global TBR market.”

This joint venture simply extends the partnership between these two tire makers.

In China: In September the companies announced Sailun Jinyu Group Co. Ltd. acquired a 35% stake in Cooper Qingdao Tire Co. That partnership has focused on the production of the Roadmaster and Cooper brands for markets globally.

In Vietnam: An offtake agreement between Cooper and Sailun provides for the production of Roadmaster brand TBR tires at Sailun's Vietnam operation in Tay Ninh.

Zhongxue Yuan, chairman and president of Sailun Group Co. Ltd., says, “This is positive for both parties. Our work with Cooper has been extremely productive. We are happy to expand our partnership with Cooper through this new TBR tire production facility in Vietnam that will help both companies meet our customers’ needs for quality, cost-competitive products around the globe.”

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