South Korea's Hankook Tire & Technology Company this week said it plans to expand production capacity in the USA to meet growing demand from local automakers, according to reports in South Korea.

The world's seventh-largest tyremaker by sales told reporters it plans to begin investing KRW100bn (US$91m) in 2021 to double production capacity at its plant in Tennessee.

The company expects to complete the expansion by the first half of 2024, increasing output capacity from the current 5.5 million to 11 million tyres per year.

Hankook Tire has eight tyre plants worldwide with a combined annual production capacity of 100 million units, including two in South Korea and six overseas - including one in the USA, one in Hungary, one in Indonesia and three in China.

The company reported a 6.4% drop in consolidated global sales to KRW6.45trn (US$5.87bn) in 2020, while operating profits increased by 15.5% to KRW628bn(US$571m) – reflecting a higher proportion of the more profitable aftermarket tyres than in the previous year.