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Kumho says it will be eighth largest tiremaker within two years

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Kumho Tire Co. Inc. plans to become the eighth largest global tiremaker by 2009 and the fifth largest tire manufacturer by 2015, B.K. Kim, the newly appointed CEO of Kumho North America, announced this weekend at Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc.'s annual dealer meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

"The global tire industry is changing as tiremakers eliminate private brands," said Kim. "Kumho's global strategy is to expand production and our manufacturing structure."

Kumho plans to open three new factories over the next several years. It currently has one plant in China and three factories in its home country of South Korea.

Kumho officials told dealers that the company will produce 52 million tires this year and wants to produce more than 76 million units by 2010.

Currently, Kumho is the ninth largest global tiremaker with 2006 revenue of $1.9 billion.

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