SEOUL, South Korea — Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is planning to boost capacity at car and light truck tire plants in the U.S. and Vietnam, including a doubling of capacity at its factory in Ben Cat, Vietnam.
The moves are in response to growing demand in North America.
In the U.S., Kumho plans to boost capacity at its Macon, Ga., factory by 550,000 units a year, with the expansion due on stream by the fourth quarter of 2022. Kumho is budgeting $23 million for the the expansion, which will boost the five-year-old plant's capacity to nearly 3.9 million units a year.
In Vietnam, Kumho is budgeting $305 million over two years for the project, which will boost the 13-year-old plant's capacity to 9.3 million units a year, versus 3.8 million in its current form.
"As a company, we are heading in a very positive direction and part of our strategy is to increase our production capacity ahead of the growing demand in order to ensure product availability for our customers and support the continued growth of partnerships in the North American market," Kumho Tire President and CEO Il-Taik Jeong said.
In Vietnam, Kumho will build an addition to its existing factory to accommodate the expanded production capacity. The size of the expansion was not disclosed.
Kumho opened the 3.4 million-sq.-ft. factory in Binh Duong Province in 2008, saying at that time the plant was part of its growth strategy in the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) market, which includes Vietnam.
Seoul-based Kumho, the 18th largest tire maker worldwide based on fiscal 2019 sales of $2.02 billion, operates eight tire plants worldwide, in China, South Korea, the U.S. and Vietnam.
Kumho's largest shareholder is China's Qingdao Doublestar Group, which acquired a 45% ownership stake in 2018.