PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Aug. 3, 2005) — A deal to attract South Korea's Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. to Slovakia has collapsed after rival tire maker Matador A.S. voiced objections.
Hankook Tire had planned to build a $600 million plant in Slovakia, but the company is now considering locations in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic after the Slovak government slashed a promised incentives package.
The U-turn came after Matador, Slovakia's only tire maker, protested the aid package.
“We are still negotiating with Slovakia, so we have not eliminated the country completely,” said a Hankook official in Seoul. “In the meantime, we have re-opened negotiations with other countries.”
The Slovak cabinet originally promised Hankook financial aid amounting to 21 percent of its planned investment. After protests from Matador and Slovakian finance officials, the government reduced that figure to 6 percent.
In May, officials in Levice, about 80 miles east of Bratislava, disclosed that Hankook was considering their town as the site for the plant, its first in Europe.