Tire manufacturer Hankook considers Mexico for a new plant

Currently ranked seventh in the world, Korea-based Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. announced at a press event its ambitions to be one of the top five global tire manufacturers.

To achieve this goal, the tire manufacturer expects production capacity to reach 135 million units by 2020, up from 103 million units presently. To that end, it is considering five locations for a new plant, potentially Mexico, Brazil, Middle East, East Europe and Russia.

Also the new Clarksville, Tennessee production plant will be a major contributor to the growth, Seung Bin Lim, Hankook global marketing vice president, said.

During the first phase of this growth, Hankook plans to produce roughly 5.5 million tires a year at its Clarksville facility, which mainly will supply to the Mercedes and BMW manufacturing sites in nearby states.

“We are currently supplying those plants from Europe,” explained Felix Kinzer head of corporate communications, Hankook Europe.

The company expects the Tennessee plant to be operational in April, roughly six months later than previously announced. Once online, the U.S. plant will free up capacity within Europe while providing further opportunity for growth within the Americas market.

Hankook is planning to expand the Tennessee facility through two additional phases to meet demands of the market.

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