BINH DUONG PROVINCE, Vietnam—Kumho Tire Co. Inc. has inaugurated production at its $200 million car tire plant in Binh Duong and disclosed plans to expand the plant's capacity nearly fourfold as market conditions warrant.
The 3.4 million-sq.-ft. plant near Ho Chi Minh City is part of Kumho Tire's global strategy and is expected to play a significant role in the company's activities in the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) market, which includes Vietnam.
Kumho said production from the factory will be sold in Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, taking advantage of reduced tariff barriers within that trading bloc. The company also plans to ship tires to the Americas and Europe.
The plant comes on stream with initial capacity of 3.15 million tires a year, which Kumho said could expand to 13 million units “based on the analysis of future market conditions.” The company did not disclose a time frame for that expansion. The firm broke ground on this plant in the second half of 2006.
Sam-Gu Park, president of Kumho Asiana Group, and Sae Chul Oh, president of Kumho Tire, were on hand March 5 for the ceremonial laying of a cornerstone to commemorate the opening. Other dignitaries attending included Nguyen Sinh Hung, senior vice prime minister of Vietnam and other national and provincial officials.
This is Kumho Tire's second industrial location in Vietnam. It opened a rubber processing facility in Bencat last year to source processed natural rubber for its tire plants in South Korea and China. Kumho said it is counting on this operation to help it stabilize raw materials costs.