RACALMAS, Hungary (Aug. 10) — Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has shipped the first batch of tires produced at its new plant in Racalmas, just six weeks after pilot production began and 14 months after ground-breaking.
The first batch of 3,500 Optimo K415 and K715 tires were shipped to distributors in France and the United Kingdom, Hankook said.
"The advancements pertaining to the completion of the tire plant are breathtaking," said Seung-Do Jin, Hankook executive vice president and COO for Europe. "On June 26, the first building machine started operation. Today, only six weeks later, we are able to deliver large amounts of Hankook tires from Hungary to all over Europe."
The $600 million Hankook factory is turning out 3,300 car and light truck tires a day with 900 employees, which should yield more than 1.2 million tires this year. Daily production should rise to 15,000 tires by next year and hit 30,000 by 2010, Hankook said. More than 90 percent of the production is designated for sale within Europe.
The Optimo K715 is a tire designed specifically for Europe, Hankook said. It exhibits low rolling resistance and is built to meet European Union environmental standards that don´t come into effect until 2010.