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Double Coin is 'considering' a U.S. factory

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Double Coin is 'considering' a U.S. factory

Double Coin Holdings Ltd. is considering an expansion of its manufacturing facilities, and for the first time the Chinese tire manufacturer is looking at the feasibility of building tires outside of China.

Liu Xunfeng, chairman of Shanghai Huayi Group Co. which holds 66% ownership control of Double Coin, says the company is “only considering” the options, and that no decision has been made. Still, he mentions both Thailand and the United States are options, in part because the Huayi company has existing relationships with other manufacturers in each of those countries. (Huayi makes and sells everything from paint and soap to batteries.)

The leaders of China Manufacturers Alliance LLC (CMA), a Double Coin subsidiary that operates and markets the company’s tires in the U.S., are encouraging and supporting an American production facility.

That facility could come in the form of a partnership with another tire manufacturer at an existing plant. Xunfeng specifically mentioned Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. as possible partners, but other companies are possibilities too. The executive says Double Coin is focusing on a “win-win” strategy.

Such a partnership isn’t a new concept for Double Coin. In a joint venture with Groupe Michelin the companies produce the Warrior line of passenger and light truck tires at a plant in Shanghai. Double Coin owns 60% and Michelin owns 40%.

Xunfeng didn’t say what tires a new plant outside of China would produce. “We’re not going into those details now.” But having production options outside of China would allow Double Coin to expand sales of its off-the-road tires and truck tires in the U.S., and bring its Warrior consumer tire brand to the U.S. as well.

Already Double Coin exports more tires to the U.S. than any other country, and those exports are in spite of tariffs currently imposed on OTR tires sized 39 inches and smaller.

The OTR tariff is prompting Double Coin to halt the shipment of those OTR tires to the U.S. CMA still is selling OTR tires from its warehouses in Memphis, Tenn. and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., but the last shipment of Double Coin OTR tires was sent in April.

In truck tires, the Double Coin brand holds a 4% share of the market, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics.

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