Cooper Has a New Partner for TBR Production in China: Sailun

Sept. 26, 2018

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has a new partner for truck and bus radial (TBR) tire production in China. Sailun Jinyu Group Co. Ltd. is acquiring the 35% stake in Cooper Qingdao Tire Co. from Qingdao Yiyuan Investment Co. Ltd. (QYI)

Sailun has signed an agreement to transfer and take over QYI's stake in the operation. Cooper owns the other 65%. QYI and Cooper created the joint venture in December 2016.

The China-based Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. Ltd. (GRT) was renamed Cooper Qingdao Tire Co.

“GRT has been a highly successful partnership for Cooper, ramping up quickly and producing high quality TBR tires under the Roadmaster and Cooper brands for global markets,” says Cooper CEO and President Brad Hughes. “The partnership with QYI has been a productive one, and we expect a smooth transition to our new partner, Sailun Jinyu Group. We have an existing relationship with Sailun through an offtake agreement with Sailun Vietnam’s operation in Tay Ninh to produce Roadmaster brand TBR tires. We look forward to working with Sailun Jinyu Group to continue to meet customer needs in the growing TBR market.”

ZhongXue Yuan is chairman and president of Sailun Jinyu Group, which is headquartered in Qingdao. He says, “We are pleased to become a partner to Cooper in the GRT joint venture and admire the work that has been done at the facility to make it operational quickly and with a focus on quality and safety. We intend to continue the great work being done at GRT and will lend our considerable tire industry expertise to drive further success at GRT in partnership with Cooper.”

At the time of the creation of the joint venture in 2016, Cooper said the Qingdao plant would help meet its TBR tire production needs for customers in North America, as well as Asia and other markets. At full capacity, the 1-million-square-foot facility could produce approximately 2.5 million to 3 million TBR tires a year. There's also room to expand it for passenger tire production, the companies said at the time.

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