SEOUL, South Korea (May 19, 2008) — Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. broke ground May 15 on a $67.4 million research and development center in Young-In, South Korea.
The 374,900-sq.-ft. facility is slated for completion by year-end 2009. Kumho said it also will double its research staff by 2015 to 1,200.
“Innovation is at the heart of our competitive advantage, and this state-of-the-art facility will strengthen our global research and development network and propel us toward our goal of becoming one of the world's top five tire manufacturers,” said Kumho Tire President Sae-chul Oh. “The Kumho R&D Center will help us attract top scientists and engineers, who will develop creative products that fit our customers' needs.”
The R&D center, located less than an hour's drive from Seoul, will serve as a coordinating hub for Kumho's research activities in other centers in the U.S., United Kingdom, China and South Korea, the tire maker said. It will house a chemical laboratory and facilities for analyzing tire compounds, noise and vibration.
The facility also will be certified by Korea's Housing & Urban Research Institute as a “green” building. This designation is given to facilities that are built according to strict environmental impact, energy usage, nature conservation and carbon footprint guidelines.