Thai tyre manufacturers ND Rubber and Siam Rubber have signed a joint venture agreement with China's Shandong YinbaoTyre Group to build a manufacturing plant for truck and passenger car tyres in Chonburi province.

The move could circumvent US anti-dumping tariffs that apply to Chinese-made tyres.

Chaiyasit Samrittivanicha, managing director of Ndr, said his company will hold 30% of the equity of the new joint venture, with Siam Rubber also holding a 30% stake while Shandong Yinbao will be the largest shareholder with a 40% stake.

For NDR this is an opportunity to diversify away from motorcycle tyres, Mr Chaiyasit told local journalists, while for Shandong Yinbao it represents an opportunity to expand into new markets.

NDR mainly makes aftermarket tyres for motorcycles, which are sold locally and also exported to Malaysia and India. Its current production capacity is 3.5m per year.

The new facility will target local sales and exports to neighbouring Asean markets, India, and also the USA where Chinese-made tyres are subject to hefty anti-dumping import tariffs.

The new plant is scheduled to be completed in 2018, with construction to start in June 2017. It will have an annual production capacity of 1.2m truck tyres and 3.0m passenger car tyres.