Shandong Linglong Tire Co. hosted a ceremony on April 15 to officially launch its next construction project — its fifth tire plant in China, and seventh in the world. The company plans to expand to 12 plants. The new plant will be built in a Changchung automotive economic zone with a total investment of $700 million (4.89 billion yuan.) It will have the capacity to build 12 million passenger tires, two million truck bus tires, and 200,000 truck/bus retreads.
Linglong says the plant will generate sales revenue of $634 million (4.44 billion yuan) annually when in full production.
The company welcomed governmental dignitaries as well as those from automaker China FAW Group Corp. and the China Rubber Industry Association.
Linglong says it has updated its global manufacturing strategy. The company previously envisioned a "5+3" strategy "to achieve sustained, stable and healthy development." That strategy was to include five plants in China and three outside of China.
But in 2020 Linglong says it is pursuing a "6+6" strategy — with six plants in China, and six more around the globe.
Already the company has four Chinese manufacturing bases in Zhaoyuan, Dezhou, Liuzhou, Jingmen, plus two more in Thailand and Serbia (under construction). The start of Linglong's fifth Chinese plant in Jilin "will open a new chapter for company's '6+6' global strategy."
The company acknowledges COVID-19 presents a unique situation.
"Since the beginning of 2020, the tire industry has been under tremendous pressure from a sharp drop in demand and production as a result of the global economic downturn and the outbreak of COVID-19. Despite the complex and severe situation, Linglong Tire quickly starts its new project construction, which will undoubtedly boost the confidence for the development of Chinese tire enterprises."
Jilin Linglong will be built into a digital, intelligent, and global industrial Internet platform through the combination of cloud technology, big data, artificial intelligence, block chain, 5G and other advanced technology, which can promote production efficiency, optimize product structure, improve quality brand and create more value.
Changchun, located in the Jilin Province, is the "cradle of China's automobile industry," Linglong says. "And the development of its automobile industry leads the country. At here, China FAW Group Corporation is undoubtedly the most famous automaker."
Linglong and China FAW Group have partnered for nearly 30 years.