LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1, 2007) — Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. is considering locations in the U.S. for a passenger/light truck tire plant that might start up as early as 2009, according to the firm's CEO.
Sae Chul Oh said that despite having factories under construction in China and Vietnam, Kumho still needs more capacity, especially for larger diameter high-performance and sport-utility-type vehicles. Capacities at the Chinese and Vietnamese plants are being designed more for their respective domestic markets, he said during the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas.
Kumho is evaluating a number of sites for a single plant in either the U.S., Oh said. Officials from Kumho Tire and its parent company, Kumho Asiana Group, have met multiple times with officials in Georgia, including Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Kumho officials expect to decide on the site selection by early next year, Oh said. The facility would be modular in design, use highly automated Kumho technology, and have a daily capacity of 6,000 to 9,000 units at startup, Oh said. The factory's technology would be more advanced than that which Kumho uses in its Automated Production Unit plant in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.