Hankook Tyre Manufacturing will invest EUR230m to expand its Hungary plant this year and is eyeing supplying European luxury car makers, its chief executive has said.


“Additional production capacity will be necessary over the next several years to meet all of our consumers’ demands,” Suh Seung-hwa told Dow Jones Newswires.


South Korea’s largest tyre maker by sales is talking with several “Audi-level” European carmakers to supply tyres, he said, without naming names.


The new investment in the plant in Hungary will double its annual capacity to 10m units by 2011, the report said. Hankook Tyre has already injected EUR320m into the plant as it regards Europe as a chief target for expansion.


The combined investment of EUR550m is 10% up on original plans.


Hankook is targeting 6.1% of the European tyre market in 2011, up from 5.8% now, the CEO said.


Meanwhile, recovering demand should help it reach achieve its sales target of KRW2.695 trillion for operations in South Korea this year.


In the January-June period, it reported a 13% on-year rise in sales to KRW1.291 trillion on the back of robust sales at its Chinese and Hungarian operations.