Company News

When Chinese New Year was celebrated in Central London it was estimated to be attended by over 700,000 people. This makes it the biggest event of its kind outside China and the main stage for the event was in the iconic Trafalgar Square.

With this in mind, you can see what Duraturn Tyres relished the privilege of becoming the first Chinese manufacturing business to attend the event and showcase its products. Duraturn Tyres used this event to show its passenger car and truck/bus tyre products along with the factory developments for aircraft tyres.

The event was also used to introduce Iain Cameron as the new general manager

Duraturn UK & ROI. Cameron who officially took on this responsibility from 1st March 2018 has more than 20 years of experience within the tyre industry, from fleet management to wholesale distribution as well as importing direct from China.

Duraturn Tyres are manufactured in Xi’an, which is the capital of Shaanxi province and famous for the Terracotta Army. Its parent company Yangchang Rubber has invested more than £515 million in developing its production capability with an annual capacity of 16 million passenger car and 4 million truck and bus tyres annually. The company recently introduce new machinery and capacity for the production of aircraft tyres.

First ChemChina sent shockwaves through the tyre market by successfully purchasing Pirelli in 2015. This year another Chinese firm – this time tyremaker Qingdao Doublestar – made waves by offering an US$830 million bid for 42 per cent Kumho Tire in mid-March. The obvious question is what is the next tyre- related investment to come out of China?

In 2014 Yanchang Petroleum International Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum, which is a leading Chinese petro-chemical firm and a Fortune 500 company bought Canadian energy firm Novus Energy for $230-million. The deal was the second largest trade between the Chinese oil sector and Canadian assets.

The point is that Yanchang Petroleum also owns Yanchang Rubber, which has alarge, modern tyre production base within its purview – not to mention ambitiousgrowth plans and significant financial backing. The tyre operation trades underthe Duraturn brand name in key international markets within Europe and NorthAmerica. Yanchang Rubber is keen to point out that its UK team will work closely with their Chinese parent company in order to offer more opportunities.

Chinese investment focus turns towards tyre sector

Tyres & Accessories understands that, with tyres continuing to be a major focus in Yanchang’s development, the acquisition of a well-known, EU-based, specialist tyre manufacturing operation could be on the horizon. So far the firm’s first attempt to close such a purchase appears to have stalled, but this has by no means dampened executives’ sky-high ambitions. Indeed, the word is that the firm remains determined to sell “high quality products” to the European markets one way or another.

Yanchang Petroleum and Yanchang Rubber are headquartered in the city Xi’an in the north-western Chinese province of Shaanxi, the home to the world-famous terracotta army site of historical interest. The capital city of first Chinese dynasty (est. 210BC) – and the birthplace of China’s first oil company (Yanchang Petroleum was established in 1905) – it was the World War 2 headquarters of the Chinese communist-led army and the hometown of President Xi Jinping.

Xi’an’s modernization has accelerated during the opening decades of the 21st century, specifically with a focused plan of being a major aerospace centre. In November 2006, the city of Xi’an and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation established Xi’an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base. This zone focuses on the development of the civil space industry, including equipment manufacturing, software and service outsourcing, new materials and solar technology. In 2008 the Xi’an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base was added. This zone aims to be China’s National Civil Aerospace Industrial area and covers 23 square kilometres. As a result Xi’an is now home to well-known global aerospace names such as Boeing as well as significant sized domestic operations.

Two significant international tyre businesses have become the latest companies to become members of the International Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA). Yanchang Rubber of China, and the Dutch Van den Ban Group have both joined the association, taking ITMA’s membership to new record levels. ITMA chairman, Alfred Graham said the complexity of the European marketplace – especially in the wake of Brexit – could make ITMA’s activities even more relevant in the coming years.

“The legislation affecting sales of tyres in Europe continues to be complex andconstantly evolving so it’s important that manufacturers and wholesalersintending to grow their business in the region are fully compliant with all relevantrules and regulations,” comments Alfred Graham, president, ITMA. “We aredelighted to welcome on board our two latest members and we hope that our
wealth of legislative and technical knowledge and support services helps them to grow within the region.”

Yanchang Rubber’s Dr Sean Yaliang Xu, stated, “There are clear challenges faced by any non-European based tyre manufactures in EU & UK market. ITMA has created a channel for us to be closer to EU policy, which may help us to deal with the EU & UK markets.”

Meanwhile, Frans van Lenten, managing director of Van den Ban Group, commented, “We are happy being a member of ITMA and we are looking forward to a constructive co-operation with the organisation and our co-members.”

Established in the 1970s, ITMA exclusively represents the interests of international tyre manufacturers. The group works with other tyre industry associations, government departments and the European Union in response to any proposed regulatory changes that are likely to impact or affect its members. ITMA currently has 21 members including several ranked within the world’s top 20 largest tyre manufacturers.

“Post-Brexit, it is likely that the European marketplace could become even more fragmented and complex so it will be more important than ever for international tyre manufacturers to have access to timely information about regulatory or technical changes,” adds Alfred Graham. “With this in mind, I would encourage any other non-European tyre manufacturers who wish to operate in the region in the future to come and talk to us to understand how we can help and support their business ambitions.”