CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Hankook Tire America Corp. has opened its first U.S. tire manufacturing plant, an $800 million facility in Clarksville that is expected to bring 1,800 jobs to Tennessee.
The plant, Hankook's eighth worldwide, is projected to produce 5.5 million car and light truck tires annually in its first phase. The plant will enable Hankook to provide North American tire dealers and consumers more efficiently with products and services while supporting existing and future original equipment partners, the company said.
Those who attended the grand opening, held Oct. 23, included Seung Hwa Suh, global CEO of Hankook, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, South Korean Consul General Seong-jin Kim and other state and local officials.
About 100 dealer representatives from across the country and representatives from suppliers globally also attended.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Mr. Suh said the investment in Tennessee "is part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, state-of-the-art technology and service for our customers. This high-tech, sustainable facility will enable Hankook to execute every phase of business in the U.S., from R&D to production and sales."
Hankook broke ground on the plant in October 2014 supported by economic incentives from the state of Tennessee, Montgomery County and Clarksville.
Mr. Haslam said the investment represents "tremendous economic growth and opportunity for Tennesseans" and already has brought "significant contributions to the local community through job creation and its community outreach."
When the second phase of development is complete, Hankook will double the plant's production capacity to 11 million units annually. Development of the second phase is still in the discussion and planning stage, said Wes Boling, public relations manager for Hankook Tire America.