WAYNE, N.J. (July 14, 2005) — Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. is negotiating with Eastern European nations to build another factory—its first outside of Asia.
Slovakia and Poland are two potential sites, but the tire maker has refused to comment until negotiations are complete. An announcement on a site may be imminent in less than 30 days, according to Bill Bainbridge, marketing director for Hankook Tire America Corp.
“The idea is to bring those negotiations to a close soon, name the site, then start construction,” he said. “We'll be able to add some capacity for the European market obviously by the end of 2007.”
With production centered on the European market, Hankook hopes to free up enough capacity from Asia to export more product to North America, he said, and then study the possibility of manufacturing in the U.S.
“You're looking at four or five years down the road before production can conceivably happen here in the U.S.,” he said.
In the U.S., Hankook Tire America is planning to announce an original equipment fitment with Saturn in the next 60 days and another General Motors Corp. vehicle fitment at this year's Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show.