BEKASI, Indonesia—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. inaugurated production on Tuesday at its newest plant, in Bekasi—a $353 million project with a projected annual capacity of 6 million car and light truck tires—with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in attendance.
Hankook intends to export 70 percent of the plant's output to to serve demands in North America and in emerging markets in the ASEAN region and Middle East.
Hankook's top executives—Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO, Hyun Shick Cho, president and CEO of Hankook Tire Worldwide, and Hyun Bum Cho, president and CMO/CCMO—presided over the ceremony, which included other Indonesian government officials as well, Hankook said.
The plant, built over the past two years on a 646-acre plot of land in Lippo Cikarang, Bekasi, in Indonesia's West Java province, is equipped to produce mainly passenger car tires—including ultra-high-performance types—and light truck tires.
The plant is starting production with 1,400 employees, but the work force will increase to 4,300 by 2018, Hankook said.
"Today's commemoration … marks yet another milestone in Hankook Tire's ongoing growth as a global top-tier tire company," Suh said. "This is also a clear manifestation of our strong will and commitment for further growth together with Indonesia and other emerging economies."
To support business locally, Hankook is establishing in Indonesia an end-to-end distribution channel, called Hankook Masters. Hankook is targeting 30 outlets by the end of the year.