Hankook picks Hungary for new factory location
WAYNE, N.J.-Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. will build an estimated $600 million factory in Hungary as a base for its production entry into the European market.
Hankook selected Dunaujvaros, Hungary, about 42 miles south of the Hungarian capital of Budapest, as the site of its new plant and base of its stepped-up efforts to pursue the European markets. The factory-which will be constructed on an approximate 5.69-million-sq.-ft. site and employ 1,500-will have an annual capacity of 10 million units, many of which will be ultra-high performance tires. It is slated to begin operating in 2007, with a completion date in 2010, Hankook said.
South Korea's largest tire maker held the investment signing ceremony at its headquarters in Seoul.
The majority of the tires produced in Dunaujvaros will supply Europe, where Hankook said its exports accounted for 36.8 percent of $862 million in total exports last year. The projected exports to the European market are estimated at $400 million this year.
With a Central European plant, Hankook said it is hoping to resolve problems stemming from the European Union's powerful economic block and the dangers of exchange rate fluctuations while reducing manufacturing and logistics costs.
In 2008, Hankook's annual production volume will reach 70 million units, which the company said would establish it as one of the world's top-five producers following such global players as Group Michelin, Bridgestone Corp. and Goodyear.
Hankook currently makes more than 58 million tires a year from two plants in Daejoen and Gumsan in South Korea, and two plants in Jiaxing and Jiangsu, China.
Rodia named Titan executive v.p./COO
QUINCY, Ill.-Former Goodyear executive Ernest J. Rodia has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of agricultural and industrial tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc., effective Nov. 1.
After a long career with Goodyear starting as a squad trainee in 1966 in Akron, Mr. Rodia retired as vice president of global engineering and manufacturing technology in 2003. In 1972, he was a member of the start-up design team for Goodyear's entry into radial tires and also directed tire manufacturing for the company's Europe and Asia markets.
After a short retirement, Mr. Rodia rejoined Goodyear as plant manager of its Kelly-Springfield/Goodyear farm tire plant in Freeport, Ill. At Titan, Mr. Rodia will oversee day-to-day operations and guide Titan's future growth, the company said.
Titan Chairman and CEO Maurice ``Morry'' Taylor Jr. said he is ``very pleased that Ernie is joining the Titan team. We're growing, and Ernie can help us expand in our new, exciting future.''
A publicly traded company since 1993, Quincy-based Titan is considering a $350 million takeover offer by One Equity Partners L.L.C., a private equity affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The deal is pending board and stockholder approval.