MACON, Ga.Kumho Tire USA Inc. plans to restart work on its stillborn tire plant in Macon, although the firm did not release a timeline either for restarting construction or for commissioning tire production.
Kumho broke ground on the project initially in May 2008 but then disclosed a one-year delay just eight months later before then pushing the project back by another three years in October 2009.
Kumho, through its Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. unit, disclosed its revamped plans after reaching agreement with local and regional officials to get the terms of the original 2008 contract extended.
Kumho is budgeting $200 million to get the project restarted and completed. It put the value of the project in 2008 at $225 million.
Kumho did not comment at this time whether the revived plant's capacity would be the same as announced in 2008 2.1 million units a year. Employment should be 300 at startup.
The community never lost its support for Kumho, said Sam Hart, chairman of the Bibb County (Ga.) Commission. And we know they never lost sight of their goal to build this plant in Georgia and in Macon-Bibb County.
Kumho Tire Georgia President Harry Choi remarked, Kumho's commitment to Macon-Bibb never wavered. Worldwide economic conditions have greatly affected our company as well as the worldwide tire industry.
Kumho Tire Georgia is strong and committed to Macon-Bibb and the U.S. tire industry. We thank the community, our suppliers, our employees and our customers for their support.
News of this project coincides with the opening of Kumho's $90 million research and development center in Yongin City, South Korea.
The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Bibb County Board of Education, Bibb County Tax Assessors, Bibb County Tax Commissioner, Bibb County Commissioners, and the Macon Economic Development Commission all approved an extension to the 2008 agreement.