SEOUL, South Korea (March 18, 2011) — Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. is planning to expand its research and development activities in South Korea in the coming two years with a new R&D center to be built in Daejeon, South Korea.
Upon the center's expected completion in 2013, Hankook will move the R&D resources housed in the firm's existing technical center in Daejeon and will convert that facility to production technology research and various tire tests that are now carried out at the firm's Geumsan plant.
Hankook did not disclose the size of the investment it's planning for the new center, to be built on a 710,160-sq.-ft. site in Daejeon.
Hankook Tire Vice Chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh and Daejeon Metropolitan City Mayor Hong-chul Yum signed a memorandum of understanding on March 16 regarding the construction of the facility.
“The driving force for Hankook Tire's continuous growth is its investment in technical expertise that is at the global level and the consistent research and development,” Suh said. “…the expansion of the main R&D Center will help strengthen our technology prowess and provide high quality to global customers.”
The new center will allow Hankook to expand its research into green initiatives, the company said.
The current Daejeon R&D center opened in 1992. Since then, Hankook has opened research centers in China, Germany, Japan and the U.S. Hankook said it invests 5 percent of its annual sales revenue back into R&D activities annually. Its R&D staff numbers 639 in Korea and 200 overseas.
The project is on top of $1.4 billion the company has committed through 2015 to building tire factories in Indonesia and China.