SEOUL, South Korean — Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. has resumed building tires at one production area of its Daejeon, South Korea, tire factory — idled since March following a fire there — but a second production line was "destroyed" by the fire and remains shut down.
Hankook disclosed in a Sept. 1 filing with the Korean Stock Exchange that it had restarted production in "factory 1" of the plant following an "internal decision." The company said the causes of the fire are still under investigation.
The 44-year-old Daejeon factory was listed as having a capacity to produce 16.5 million units per year, comprising passenger, light truck, truck/bus and racing tires. Its output generated 16.4% of Hankook's fiscal 2021 sales, amounting to over $900 million.
Hankook did not state which types of tires are back in production.
"We are currently examining the details of the accident and the damage situation," according to a translation of Hankook's statement to the Korean Stock Exchange.
The tire maker said it was "working to minimize losses by promptly handling and recovering from the accident." The firm has not disclosed as yet any estimates as to what the fired and lost production might eventually cost.
Hankook suspended production at the Daejeon plant March 13, in the wake of a fire that broke out at the factory's curing process area, but local press quoting fire department officials reported that it soon spread to a nearby storage area due to strong winds.
One fallout of the production interruption was that Hankook lost a deal to supply tires for the Japan's Super Taikyu racing series.
Hankook has fared well fiscally thus far in 2023 despite the lost production. The company reported 45.7% higher operating income of $339 million for the first six months of the year on 14% higher sales of $3.37 billion, raising the operating ratio two full points to 10%.