Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co. Inc. will invest $250 million in its two Chinese factories by 2010, tripling annual production capacity to about 20 million units in a bid to boost sales in China to $580 million.
The South Korean tire maker also plans to set up distribution centers in six major Chinese cities and establish sports promotion and advertising programs to solidify its presence in the nation.
The first phase of the project will cost $100 million by 2004 when Chinese sales should reach $300 million. The second phase will occur in 2004-2010, helping to push sales to $580 million, according to Hankook President Choong Hwan Cho. Hankook's plants in China are Hankook Tire Jiaxing Co. Ltd. in Jiaxing and Jiangsu Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. in Jiangsu, with total employment of 2,700.
The operations' combined output last year was 6.3 million tires, which resulted in $180 million in sales-good for a 2.5-percent market share in China.