Tiremakers Moved Forward With Big Projects in 2023

Jan. 10, 2024

Several tire manufacturers announced major investments in their North American production facilities during 2023. 

Others continued to move ahead with planned expenditures. 

Last month, Sailun Tire Americas announced plans to enter a joint venture with Sailun Singapore to invest in the construction of a new tire manufacturing plant in Mexico. (Sailun Singapore is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sailun Tire and TD International Holding, S.A.P.I. de C.V. in Mexico.) 

The new facility will have an annual production capacity of six million semi-steel radial tires, with a total project investment of $240 million.  

This past summer, Nokian Tyres Inc. Told MTD that it plans to double the annual production capacity at its Dayton, Tenn., plant by 2024 as part of its ongoing investment in the facility, which opened in 2019.

Nokian is now manufacturing light truck tires at the plant, which runs 24/7, and says that by 2027, the Dayton plant will make up 25% of Nokian’s annual global production. (Nokian’s plant in Finland will generate 35% and its recently announced plant in Romania, which is slated to begin production in 2025, will manufacture the rest of what’s projected to be a total global, annual output of around 15 million units.)

Nokian will have the capability to produce up to eight million units per year and then up to 12 million units annually at the Dayton facility, if the company chooses to add onto the factory’s existing footprint. 

Also last summer, Giti Tire (USA) Ltd. told MTD that its plant in Richburg, S.C., was preparing to enter phase two of its evolution, which will include capacity increases and the production of key sizes in several popular lines, as well as sizes the company has been producing overseas. 

In May 2023, Nexen Tire Corp., parent company of Nexen Tire America Inc., revealed plans to build a plant in the southeastern United States that will start producing tires by 2029. 

The plant will represent an investment of $1.3 billion. When up and running, it will have a daily production capacity of 30,000 units, according to Nexen officials. 

The factory will be South Korea-based Nexen’s first tire plant in the U.S. and its first establishment of an overseas plant in nearly 10 years. 

Nexen also plans to boost its current global production capacity, which stands at around 45 million units a year, to 52 million units by 2025.  

At the outset of 2023, Michelin North America Inc. disclosed plans to invest around $220 million in equipment and technology at its three manufacturing plants in Nova Scotia to meet demand for electric vehicle tires, larger passenger and light truck tire fitments and fuel-efficient commercial truck tires. 

Michelin says the investments will follow a multi-year plan. 

Evolving projects 

Investment at select Bridgestone Americas Inc. plants, as well as Hankook Tire America Corp.'s tire plant in the U.S., also continued in 2023.  

During the second quarter of 2023, Hankook told MTD that it was still on-track to break ground on phase two of the expansion of its Clarksville, Tenn., plant. 

The investment will double the plant’s passenger and light truck tire production to 11 million units and give Hankook the ability to build commercial truck and bus tires at the facility, which opened in October 2017. 

In summer 2022, Bridgestone broke ground on a $550 million investment at its Warren County, Tenn., plant that would expand the facility by 850,000 square feet and enable TBR tires made there to be equipped with radio frequency identification tags. 
As 2024 starts, Bridgestone’s building expansion plans at the plant are underway. "Volume increases are planned and are dependent on current market demand," according to Bridgestone officials.
During 2023, Bridgestone broke ground on the $60 million expansion of its tread rubber manufacturing plant in Abilene, Texas, which is also underway and on schedule.

For a complete, in-depth look at all tire manufacturers’ North American tire plants, see MTD’s 2024 Facts Issue, available later this month. 

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.