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Kumho resumes work on Georgia plant

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Published : 2014-07-01 20:50
Updated : 2014-07-01 20:50

A rendering of Kumho Tire’s planned factory in Macon, Georgia (Kumho Tire)
Kumho Tire, currently in a debt workout program, said Tuesday that it was resuming the construction of its U.S. plant, which has been suspended since the 2008 financial crisis.

Following approval from its creditors, the Korean tire maker said it plans to pour $413 million into the new plant in Macon, Georgia, with its completion due in early 2016.

The new plant, capable of producing 4 million tires per year, will supply tires to global carmakers, including Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors.

Kumho Tire held the ground-breaking ceremony for the first U.S. plant in 2008 but was forced to stop construction after just four months when the company was hit hard by the global financial crisis.

With the new plant, the tire maker hopes to increase its presence in North America, the largest tire market that makes up 20 percent of global tire sales of 1.6 million tires annually.

According to the U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association, tire sales in North America are expected to grow by an annual 5 percent between 2013 and 2018.

“The new U.S plant will contribute to a more stable supply of our tire products for global carmakers as well as Korea’s Hyundai and Kia,” said Cho Jung-seok, the company’s strategic chief.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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