HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (April 10, 2006) — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is planning to build a $155 million tire plant in Vietnam in partnership with a local investment company, pending final negotiations.
Representatives from Kumho and Becamex IDC Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding March 29 covering the deal, which would site the plant near Ho Chi Minh City.
Kumho Tire President Sae Chul Oh cited Vietnam's “political and social stability along with its vast workforce and geological resources” as reasons for considering it for a factory. The firms said they expect to complete negotiations during April.
“Because the Vietnam plant will be able to obtain its workforce and raw materials easily and at a low cost,” a Kumho representative added, “it will allow Kumho Tire a competitive edge once it is completed.”
Kumho said the 3.4-million-sq.-ft. plant would start production by the first half of 2008, with a nameplate capacity of 3.15 million radial tires a year, making it similar in scope to the Jiang Chun, China, plant due to open in 2007.
It would be a state-of-the-art facility with the ability to make ultra-high-performance tires for both domestic sale and export to Asia, the Americas and Europe, Kumho said.
The addition of this plant would raise Kumho's capacity to 64 million tires a year.