Yearly tire capacity, not production, in North America totaled 334.8 million tires at 62 plants as of Jan. 1, 2018. That’s up 4.9% compared to 2017, when capacity was 319.1 million tires. (The total does not include race or aviation tires.)
In the United States, annual capacity increased by more than 12 million tires to 269.2 million units, a 4.9% increase. Mexican plant capacity was also up, from 37.2 million to 39.8 million units, or 7%. Canadian capacity was up slightly more than 1%.
Two new plants helped with additional production in the U.S. Giti Tire (USA) Ltd.’s consumer tire plant in Richburg, S.C., began producing tires last year.
Giti is investing $560 million in the Giti Manufacturing (USA) Ltd. facility, which will produce not only the Dextero brand (specifically the DHT2 and Touring DTR1) for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., but also the Giti brand — not to be confused with the GT Radial brand — for the North American market.
The Giti brand, the global flagship brand for the Giti Tire Group, will be introduced in the U.S. later this year. The GT Radial brand, which has been sold through U.S. independent dealers for many years, also will be produced at the plant. The Giti brand will be sold through multiple channels, including independent dealers.
At full capacity, the plant will be able to produce 5 million tires a year.
The other plant, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, builds 2,000 tires a day. At full capacity, it will produce more than 16,000 tires a day, or 6 million annually, for North America and Latin America.
Also in 2017, three overseas tire manufacturers announced plans to build tire plants in the U.S. over the next few years. Last June, Wanli Tire Corp. Ltd. said it will invest $400 million in a consumer tire plant in Orangeburg County, S.C. When completed, the facility will be able to produce 6 million tires annually.
In September, Hille Korhonen, the CEO and president of Nokian Tyres plc, said the company plans to begin producing consumer tires at its Dayton, Tenn., manufacturing facility by 2020. By 2022, the $360 million plant will have a yearly production capacity of 4 million tires.
And in December, Triangle Tyre Co. Ltd. announced it would build a consumer and commercial tire plant in Edgecombe County, N.C., at a cost of $580 million.
Read the January Facts Issue here.