FAIRLAWN, Ohio (April 21, 2000)—Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. broke ground for a new 20,380-sq.-ft. technical facility near Akron, April 17.
The $4 million structure, which will be more than three times the size of Kumho´s current U.S. technical center, is scheduled for completion in January 2001.
Kumho´s current 6,000-sq.-ft. technical facility is a few miles from the new Fairlawn site.
"Let what is built on this site speak to Kumho´s commitment to the North American tire market—the largest in the world," said Guy Edington, managing director of Kumho´s technical center. Kumho will add 20 new employees to the current 25 after moving in to the new building, he said.
Mr. Edington said the new facility will allow Kumho to test tire materials and compounding and do noise and vibration testing. In the new labs, Kumho´s technicians will be able to, "actually start to validate their ideas," he said.
The North American subsidiary of Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. in South Korea also plans to construct a second building on the nine-acre site in about three years. Mr. Edington said it will be used for advanced tire testing.
Kumho opened its first tech center in the Akron area in 1990.
Mr. Edington said Kumho looked at about 60 sites before picking this one.
Kumho hopes the new tech center also will improve the company´s image and visibility.