SEOUL, South Korea (May 20, 2008) — Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. broke ground May 15 on a $67.4 million research and development center in Young-In, South Korea, and plans to double its research staff by 2015 to 1,200.
The 374,900-sq.-ft. facility is slated for completion by year-end 2009.
Kumho Tire President Sae-Chul Oh said the facility will strengthen his firm's global research and development network and propel Kumho toward its goal of becoming one of the world's top five tire manufacturers. He said the center also will help attract top scientists and engineers, who will develop creative products that fit customers' needs.
The R&D center, located less than an hour's drive from Seoul, will serve as a coordinating hub for Kumho's research activities in other centers in the U.S., United Kingdom, China and South Korea, the tire maker said. It will house a chemical laboratory and facilities for analyzing tire compounds, noise and vibration.
The facility also will be certified by South Korea's Housing & Urban Research Institute as a “green” building. This designation is given to facilities that are built according to strict environmental impact, energy usage, nature conservation and carbon footprint guidelines.