CHANGNYEONG, South Korea (May 22, 2012)—Nexen Tire Corp.'s $1 billion passenger and light truck tire plant in Changnyeong has begun operating.
Seoul, South Korea-based Nexen broke ground on its second factory in South Korea and third overall in June 2010. The plant is increasing production with 500 employees initially and should be producing at a rate of 3 million tires a year in its first year of operation.
The facility will be expanded in a series of investments during the next six years, Nexen said.
The firm said the site is expected to reach the capacity to make 60,000 units a day, or 21 million a year, by 2018 with about 2,000 employees.
Nexen Tire CEO Hyung Bong Lee said the firm's production capability overall is heading toward 60 million units annually, or three times its current capacity. He said the new factory is highly automated and requires a minimum amount of labor, and is key to the firm's goal of becoming a top 10 global tire maker.
Nexen ranks as the 25th-largest tire maker in the world, with 2011 sales of about $1.3 billion.