TROUP COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that Sentury Tire, the fifth-largest and fastest growing tire manufacturer in China, will create more than 1,000 jobs and invest $530 million in a car and light truck tire manufacturing operation in Troup County.
The new facility in LaGrange will support Sentury Tire's existing customer base in North America.
"Sentury Tire's commitment to locate in LaGrange speaks to Georgia's business-friendly climate and the strong relationship we maintain with our economic partners in China," said Deal. "We value Sentury Tire's investment in Georgia and the vision of the company's leadership for continued growth in Troup County. I am positive that Georgia's automotive manufacturing and technology capabilities will be assets to Sentury Tire as the company serves a growing customer base."
Sentury Tire specializes in the advanced manufacturing of tires for use in the automotive and aerospace industries. The company is a world leader in highly intelligent tire manufacturing processes that increase efficiency and minimize production times, and robotics plays a crucial role in the production process.
The new manufacturing facility will create jobs in production, national sales and marketing, warehousing and distribution. As a further investment in the facility, Sentury is planning to incorporate a research and development center that will employ approximately 100 highly qualified technical personnel.
"We are very happy to select LaGrange to the location of our North American manufacturing," said Sentury Tire Executive Vice President Rami Helminen. "The education systems and high-quality workforce complement our leading edge technology in the production and research and development. We are confident that Georgia has the infrastructure that can help us build a successful logistical operation to supply our growing aftermarket dealer sales and OEM sales to auto manufacturers in the North American market. We anticipate production to start in 2018 and will build up to our projected manufacturing capacity of 12 million passenger and light truck tires."
Sentury Tire products are sold worldwide under the brands Sentury, Landsail and Delinte. About 70 percent of Sentury Tire's sales are in the EU and U.S markets. Sentury Tire's parent company, Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd., based in Qingdao, China, employs 2,500 people worldwide and currently has manufacturing operations in Qingdao and Thailand.
"We could not be happier for the state of Georgia, LaGrange and Troup County and the entire team at Sentury Tire. We have the best Governor in the country for business, the best state in the country for business and a community that has a history of great leadership," said Scott Malone, President of the Development Authority of LaGrange. "When you combine great leadership with great resources, you get great results. This was truly a team win for all involved!"
"We are absolutely thrilled that Sentury Tire will make this investment in LaGrange," said City of LaGrange Mayor Jim Thorton. "Sentury Tire's decision confirms that LaGrange is one of the best places for international investment in the Southeast. LaGrange is already a regional hub for advanced manufacturing, and our city is currently home to businesses hailing from 10 foreign nations. With Sentury Tire, we are delighted to add China to the long list of foreign nations finding a home in LaGrange."
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Director of International Investment Nico Wijnberg represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with Georgia Power, Georgia Quick Start, the Georgia Ports Authority and the Development Authority of LaGrange.
"The state of Georgia has had a strategic office in China since 2007 and an office in Qingdao since 2013, helping foster business connections between Georgians and Chinese professionals," said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. "This project is a great example of the relationships that have been forged through active communication and engagement in China. As Sentury Tire joins some 38 Chinese businesses with operations in Georgia, we are looking forward to working with our partners in LaGrange to ensure the company's success well into the future."
About Sentury Tire
Sentury Tire is headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong, China. In 2009, Sentury Tire started mass production of passenger, crossover, sport utility vehicle, commercial van, light truck and aircraft tires. Sentury's facilities have the capacity to produce more than 15 million tires per year in China and 12 million tires in Thailand.