HANOVER, Germany — Chinese tire maker Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd. (ZC Rubber) has opened a Europe Technical Center (ETC) in Hanover that the tire maker said will provide technical support to its head research and development operation in China.
The ETC, which began operations Nov. 1, will focus on global original equipment project development that benchmarks evolving tire technologies and helps to raise standards for new product performance.
Hangzhou, China-based ZC Rubber has hired Martin Wells as its vice president, Global OE and Jörn Tietjens as key account manager OE and automotive engineer,. Both will work at the new ETC.
Mr. Wells will oversee all work at ETC, including OE project development and account management globally and will be in charge of the company’s OE business. He formerly worked for six years as director KAM OEM at the Giti Tire R&D Centre (Europe) GmbH.
ZC Rubber said he has substantial experience in the European OEM business, particularly with Volkswagen Group.
Mr. Tietjens will be responsible for developing, testing and marketing new products to key OE accounts, as well as coordinating commercial and technical support in order to meet customer-related targets.
He previously was key account manager OE and automotive engineer OE in Giti Tire R&D Centre Europe, where ZC Rubber said he excelled at increasing customer relations and managing several OE projects within the VW Group.
Shen Jinrong, chairman of Zhongce Rubber Group, called the ETC one of his company’s “most valuable assets.
“With the new Europe Technical Center, ZC Rubber will be able to create cutting-edge technologies not only for our OEM partners but also to raise the standard on new product performance,” he said.
ZC Rubber supplies tires to a number of several auto makers, including Ford Motor Co., Volvo A.B., Hyundai Motor Corp. and KIA Motors, among others,.
“The OE business is critical because it not only allows us to partner with the world’s leading auto makers, but it also enables us to expand our replacement business,” Mr. Jinrong said.
“With the establishment of the Europe Technical Center, ZC Rubber looks forward to extending its OE portfolio and collaborating with the world’s leading auto makers in the future.”
Among ZC Rubber’s consumer tire brands are ChaoYang, Goodride, Trazano and WestLake.