Qingdao Sentury Tire Co is a Chinese company that is already listed on the Stock Exchange despite its barely 14 years of experience. His founder, Qin Long, has managed to create an empire in this time and without moving from the path he projected in 2007: manufacture and market high performance low cost tires to compete with giants such as Michelin, Goodyear, Continental or Sumitomo. The brands it markets are not the best known outside the Asian market –Sentury, Landsail, Delinte and Groundspeed–, but it aspires to change this reality with the production of wheels on European soil. And he has chosen Galicia to achieve it. In a communication sent to the Shenzhen trading floor, Sentury Tire has detailed a complex project for the construction of a factory of 522.59 million euros. Although the document does not specify its specific location – it only mentions Galicia in the “specific location” section – it does include a photograph of the Coruña town of As Pontes. The Xunta is aware of the initiative, which would still need many procedures to take its future materialization for granted. In any case, this one from Sentury would be the largest implementation of a new company in the motor industry in the community.
The factory would be led by the subsidiary Sentury Tire Spain, established in Madrid last July with 3,000 euros of share capital and with Warren Rudman as the head. In his professional network Linkedin he already appears, since November, as a manager based in Galicia. Two of the company’s attorneys (Antonio Sanchez Cerban Y Rodrigo Lopez Czech) are lawyers from the Uría Menéndez law firm.
Today, the Asian group already has two factories, in Qingdao and Rayong (Thailand), where it manufactures 12 and 10 million tires a year. The As Pontes would reach the production volumes of the Chinese plant, according to the same documentation provided to investors. The landing of Sentury Tire in Europe is also part of a broad roadmap called Strategy 833+, which includes the start-up of six new industrial locations (2 in China, one more in Thailand, Europe, Africa and North America) , in addition to a network of research centers. “This investment [por la de Galicia, dice el informe] it is to implement the strategic plan of the company, and of a deep globalization & rdquor ;.
Qinlong’s team intends to have a total area of 240,000 square meters, without reference to the current ownership of the land, and that the factory will be based on 120,000. Of those more than 522 million investment, some 477 million will be allocated entirely to the construction works of the plant. It intends to cover it with its own means, except for a long-term loan of 100 million euros. According to your planning, you will need 36 months to build the entire infrastructure. In the first year the goal is to produce 4 million tires, to climb to 9 million units in the second and 12 million in the third. The complete planning would start in the year 2025, focused on the passenger car and light truck segment. “Production workers must be qualified & rdquor ;, abounds Sentury Tire, which figure in 750 direct jobs that will be created with this project.
The company makes extensive mention of the “good relationship & rdquor; between China and Spain, and even mentions some statements by the former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a visit to the country, in 2017. “The West is willing to work with China to promote the growth of trade and investment & rdquor ;. It does not clarify, however, the reasons that have led the group to choose Galicia or As Pontes, beyond listing the good peninsular port connections or the railway network. In the Ministry of Ecological Transition there is a project in the same town in A Coruña, but for a reversible hydroelectric plant of 250 megawatts (MW) and its evacuation line. That of Sentury Tire does not appear at the moment, nor in the Xunta’s environmental assessment bodies. Among others, soil, natural resources or water cataloging analyzes are pending, FARO learned.
“Competitors have a high international market share, and my country’s tire industry urgently needs to improve against international brands,” says the document sent to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Qin Long is already one of the great fortunes of China.
The factory that it projects in Galicia is part of an expansion plan, with which the group plans to open more factories in Asia, North America and Africa, as well as research centers.
The report sent to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange does not detail the specific location of the factory, but it does include a photograph of As Pontes. He wants to occupy 120,000 square meters on a plot of land of about 240,000.
Sentury Tire assures that it will need 750 direct and qualified workers.