By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 15, 2013) — Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. will benefit from more than $120 million in incentives from state, local and county economic development agencies for the tire plant it plans to build near Clarksville.
The state of Tennessee is providing a package of incentives valued at $72 million, and the city of Clarksville and Montgomery County donated the 469 acres of land at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Corporate Business Park, where Hankook will build the plant. That and other incentives are valued at $50 million, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Hankook disclosed Clarksville as the site for its $800 million car and light truck tire plant, that is scheduled to start producing tires by 2016.
Included in the state's $72 million incentive package are funds for training, construction of a training facility and a Korean cultural center in the Clarksville area, according to Bill Hagerty, the state's commissioner of economic and community development.
The 1.5 million-sq.-ft. factory will have an expected initial capacity of about 6 million tires annually, with about 1,800 full-time jobs at full capacity.
A second-phase build-out will boost capacity to 11 million units a year by 2018, Hankook said.
The economic development department said it based its incentives on job count, job quality and capital investment. It did not do a specific economic impact study for this project.
Hankook Tire Vice Chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh pledged to locally fill most of the jobs being created.
Local news reports said the new jobs are welcome in the wake of the failure of Hemlock Semiconductor Co., which invested in but never put into production a solar panel factory at the same industrial park.
Hankook also is expected to benefit from a series of road improvements and the construction of a railroad spur to the plant, the local news reports indicated.
Wages at the plant are expected to be about $18 an hour, according to reports about a press conference held Oct. 15 by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board.
The package compares favorably with the $130 million in incentives that Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. received toward its building of a truck tire plant near West Point, Miss.