SEOUL (Sept. 28, 2009)—Nexen Tire Corp. will invest $843 million over eight years in a passenger and light truck tire plant in South Korea to meet growing demand for fuel-efficient tires.
The factory, to be located in Gyeongnam Province southeast of Seoul, will be engineered to turn out 30 million units a year, making it the world's largest tire plant of its kind, Nexen said in a filing with the Korea Exchange.
Reports from South Korea cited the filing as saying the decision reflects the recent U.S. decision to impose steep duties on tires from China, where Nexen opened a factory two years ago. That plant, in Qingdao, was set up in part to supply U.S. customers.
A Nexen Tire spokesman said adding a plant has been under consideration for some time. Nexen's existing South Korean tire plant in Yangsan is also in Gyeongnam Province.
Nexen did not say when it expects to break ground or when tire production should start.
With 2008 tire sales of $877.3 million, Nexen is considered the world's No. 24 tire maker, according to Tire Business' annual analysis of the global marketplace.