Triangle Tyre preps $580M investment in eastern N.C. megasite
Construction on the new Triangle Tyre facility in the Kingsboro CSX Select Megasite will begin in the fall.
Appeared as part of the Nash and Edgecombe counties sponsored section in the August 2019 issue.
By Teri Saylor
Construction for Triangle Tyre’s first manufacturing facility outside China is just a few months away with a project set to bring 800 jobs to the area in the next four years.
The facility, part of Triangle Tyre’s subsidiary Triangle Tire USA, will be located in the 1,449-acre Kingsboro CSX Select Megasite in eastern North Carolina. Kingsboro CSX’s water, sewer, natural gas and electricity infrastructure is completely installed, and the site is construction ready. Triangle Tyre will begin constructing its facility this fall.
“We’ve been working on the site for 18 years, and it is one of the older, if not the oldest, construction-ready sites in the state,” says Norris Tolson, CEO and president of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership.
In late 2017, the Chinese tire manufacturer staked its claim on 400 acres in the megasite. The manufacturing facility, to be built in two phases, will take up nearly a third of the site when construction is complete in 2023. Representatives with Triangle Tire USA did not return requests for comment.
Tolson says the manufacturer considered locations across the entire Southeast. The convenient location and the readily available workforce won the project for North Carolina.
“We were very competitive,” Tolson says. “Anytime a company like Triangle Tyre wants 400 acres on a site, you hope they look at you. The site was available and ready to build on, and it met the company’s criteria. It provides good access in and out of the area, and the community has a readily available workforce.”
The company will invest nearly $580 million in Edgecombe County and create 800 jobs in the two phases of construction. The first phase will manufacture tires for passenger cars and trucks and is expected to begin production in 2020. Phase 2 will focus on production of large commercial vehicles such as earth-moving equipment.
This project was the state’s most lucrative economic development announcement in 2017, according to a report by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Gov. Roy Cooper called the project “the largest-ever manufacturing investment in rural North Carolina.”
Tolson says Triangle Tyre will offer a variety of jobs, including corporate executives, research and development personnel, line workers, quality control, logistics and maintenance in Edgecombe County. Salaries will average about $56,000 plus benefits.
The Kingsboro Megasite is located five miles east of Rocky Mount and six miles west of Tarboro. It sits adjacent to U.S. 64 and within eight miles of Interstate 95. A new CSX Intermodal terminal under construction on the nearby CSX railroad is an added value for corporations such as Triangle Tyre, which depend on transportation infrastructure to ship raw materials in and ship products out.
Founded in 1976, Triangle Tyre is headquartered in the Shandong province of China and focuses on tire-technology innovation, manufacturing and the global tire market, according to a report from Cooper’s office. In 2016, Triangle Tyre launched Triangle Tire USA as a wholly owned subsidiary and established its U.S. headquarters in Franklin, Tenn.
Triangle Tyre’s annual manufacturing volume in China is more than 22 million tires, and the company anticipates the North Carolina facility will produce 6 million additional tires when it reaches full production. Its products are exported to more than 180 countries and regions.
An incentives package worth $152 million from state and local governments includes a Job Development Investment Grant authorizing a potential reimbursement of up to $20.1 million over 12 years if requirements are met, according to Gov. Cooper’s office. The report estimates the project will contribute $2.4 billion to the state’s economy over the next 12 years. The incentives also include a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund for up to $16 million.
Tolson hopes the Triangle Tire USA manufacturing plant will serve as a catalyst for other businesses and industries looking for an expansion site. He says interest in Nash and Edgecombe counties is already picking up.
“We are getting a lot of attention from site selectors and we anticipate lots of growth,” Tolson says. “Edgecombe and Nash had the vision and foresight to make a large piece of land available. Things are coming together well, and we see a tremendous opportunity going forward.”
Tolson predicts that by the end of 2020, local businesses and industries will need 3,500 people ready to go to work.
Carolinas Gateway is working with community colleges to develop a solution through the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Pipeline for Eastern North Carolina, a collaboration among eight colleges across 10 counties. The colleges will offer curriculum designed to equip the area’s workforce with the modern manufacturing skills industries look for when seeking new locations or expansion opportunities. RAMP East will also be available to develop programs for companies to train their employees.
“We believe all of this bodes well for eastern North Carolina and will generate more activity east of I-95,” Tolson says.