FAIRLAWN, Ohio (April 23, 2001)-–To demonstrate its commitment to have a technical and market presence in North America, Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. opened a 20,400-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art technical center April 23 in Fairlawn, a suburb of Akron.
The tire maker marked the event with a ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony for local officials and corporate dignitaries, including Hyung In Shin, president of parent firm Kumho Industrial Co. Inc., and Kyo S. Cho, president of Kumho Tire U.S.A.
“Kumho's new technical center in Akron is part of a group of three R&D centers throughout the world dedicated to developing products and the supporting technologies for this very competitive industry,” Mr. Shin said.
Kumho spent just more than $2 million to build the Fairlawn facility, according to Managing Director Guy Edington. The company broke ground on the center a year ago and moved in Dec. 28.
The tire maker expects to expand the facility, which employs 22, to 50,000 square feet in the next three years for additional tire testing and office space, Mr. Edington said. That expansion will include hiring additional engineers and research scientists, bringing employment up to 45.
Since 1991, Kumho has operated a 2,500-sq.-ft. tech center less than a mile away from its new one. The company has two other research facilities–one in Kwangju, Korea and a recently opened tech center in Birmingham, U.K.