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May 13, 2008

US: Ground broken for new tyre plant

Kumho Tyres has held a ground-breaking ceremony for its sixth overseas manufacturing plant in Bibb County, near Macon, Georgia.

Kumho Tyres has held a ground-breaking ceremony for its sixth overseas manufacturing plant in Bibb County, near Macon, Georgia.

The tyre maker plans to invest $165m in the 5.7m square foot plant, with completion expected by the end of 2009. Initial capacity is 2.1m original equipment and replacement tyres for the US produced by around 200 workers.

Sae-chul Oh, President & CEO of Kumho Tyres, said at the ceremony: “Establishing a production facility in the world’s biggest tyre market will help Kumho respond faster to the needs of customers in the region, while also reinforcing our cost and price competitiveness.”

With the completion of this new plant, the company will have nine world-wide – it already has three in Korea, four in China and one in Vietnam and plans to establish an additional plant producing truck bus radial tyres in Nanjing, China.

Kumho Tyres’s production capacity outside of Korea will reach 33m tyres, exceeding domestic production by 32m. The new plants in Nanjing and Georgia will increase total capacity to 77m tyres by 2009, boosting total overseas production to 60% of total capacity.

The US market is currently the world’s largest with 45.1m high performance tyres sold every year. It is important for Kumho’s growth plans, as 35% of the company’s overseas sales comes from the country. Its sales have grown 53% since 2002, and account for 23% of the market.

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