CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, calling it a “wedding of an extraordinary company and an incredible community,” helped Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. mark the start of construction on its $800 million car and light truck tire plant on Oct. 9 near Clarksville, in north central Tennessee.
With hundreds of acres already cleared at the site, Hankook Tire expects to start construction on the 1.5 million-sq.-ft. plant as soon as possible in order to begin production by January 2016, according to Hankook Tire CEO Seung Hwa Suh.
The plant is expected to employ 1,200 workers in the first phase, Hankook said, which represents annual output of 5.5 million car and light truck tires. The second phase, due on stream by 2018, will double capacity to 11 million units and create 600 more jobs.
Hankook's Clarksville plant will span 1.5 million square feet in the first phase. The entire site covers 469 acres.
Hankook said it plans to build a tire proving ground on the 469-acre site in the Clarksville Corporate Business Park that it picked last October after evaluating dozens of potential locations throughout the southern U.S.
The factory site is about nine miles northwest of the city of Clarksville, on land adjacent to Interstate 24. Eutaw Construction Co. of Mississippi is the primary contractor for the land clearing.