SEOUL, South Korea (Nov. 23, 2010) — Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has selected a site near Chongqing, China, for its sixth plant, a $954 million car and truck tire factory expected to be on stream by year-end 2015.
The plant, to be located in Liang Jiang Xin Qu, a district southwest of Chongqing proper, will be built with a capacity of 11.5 million car and medium truck/bus tires annually, Hankook said, which will equate to about $1 billion in additional sales.
The company, the eighth largest tire maker based on 2009 sales volume, may have more capacity in the works as well, according to Vice Chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh, who said, “We will continue to seek for future investment opportunities in order to improve our production capacity and productivity, and will also show our commitment to the local communities.”
Another Hankook official, Vice President J.H. Park, only recently told European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business, that the company was in advanced negotations with officials in Indonesia to build a factory there.
The Chongqing plant, to be built on a 5.7 million-sq.-ft. site, will be Hankook's third in China; the others are a car tire plant in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, and a car, truck and farm tire factory in Huaian, Jiangsu Province. Hankook called the new plant a “strategic production base in response to the growing demand in China as well as in the global market.”
Hankook hopes to break ground on the plant during the first quarter of 2011 and complete it before year-end 2015. The project should create about 4,600 jobs in the region, Hankook said. The company's other plants employ about 6,200 combined.
The new plant will boost Hankook's global annual production capacity to about 100 million units, which it claims would be the fifth largest capacity. Hankook also operates two plants in South Korea and one in Hungary.