Trayal of Serbia and Belshina of Belarus in Joint Tire Venture

Trayal Korporacija AD, a Serbian tire maker owned by Brikel EAD of Bulgaria, will begin production of car tires together with Belshina JSC in Belarus.

The cooperation agreement with Belshina for making tires under the Trayal brand and technology at Belshina’s plant in Bobruisk, Belarus will be signed later this month, said Hristo Krusarski, Trayal’s chief executive officer. Belshina tires for industrial vehicles will be made at Trayal’s plant in Krusevac, in south-central Serbia, he said. The tires will be sold mainly on the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarus markets.

Trayal sold its car-tire unit to Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., a U.S. tire maker, for $13 million in December. Cooper Tire planned to invest $50 million and increase production sixfold to 3 million units, mainly for the European Union market. Trayal kept the facilities for making truck and motorcycle tires, protective equipment and explosives.

“We stopped making car tires after we sold one of our plants to Cooper, but we realized there is still demand for the products,” Krusarski said in a phone interview. The annual production in Belarus will be 500,000 units, he said.

Some 1,200 tons of heavy-duty Belshina tires will be made every month in Krusevac where the Trayal facility currently operates at just a quarter of its capacity, Krusarski said.

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