Regular readers of the Megatyre blog will be familiar with previous commentary about the dynamic expansion of the Chinese tyre industry and the massive European market sales enjoyed by Linglong’s Green Max and Crosswind brands. This fact has been regularly refuted by some folk with conflicting interests but has been confirmed by recent developments.
Linglong is currently talking to prospective European state partners in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and even Belgium! in the furtherance of the next phase of it’s 3+3 production strategy; which calls for Linglong to invest in three Chinese production mills on the Chinese mainland and three outside of China. They are deliberating where to establish the next phase in their growth plan; their huge European sales making Europe the obvious choice.
Linglong’s initial strategy was to gain control of financially troubled Kumho in Korea from its creditors but were defeated in this quest by Doublestar Tyres of China who are another important Megatyre supplier; hence Linglong’s decision to expand into Europe. Doublestar now own 42% of Kumho and have control of the company. You can be sure that Kumho’s intellectual property, production and quality control expertise will rapidly flow over to Doublestar, just like they did from Fisher and Paykel to Haier! QED! Watch out for the dramatic enhancement of Doublestar tyres!
As the Chinese tyre market matures and labour, environmental and safety costs increase exponentially, many of the rat bag tyre mills are exiting the Chinese market leaving respected mills like Linglong, Windforce, Cratos and Doublestar in a dominant position. Megatyre is fortunate in that our supplier Value Tyres has these agencies tied up and holds the Ace card as the New Zealand distributor of the increasingly dominant Hankook brand.
Everything has changed in the tyre market, China, Indonesia, Thailand and especially Korea all make quality tyres including huge volumes for the famous old brands. Be wary of tyre shops proclaiming that their Chinese made famous old brand tyres are somehow better than Asian brands; there is nothing clever or satisfying about paying 100% more for a famous old brand tyre that is the same quality as an Asian branded tyre!