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Hankook to expand plant in Hungary

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Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has announced a $405 million expansion to its European production facility in Racalmas, Hungary. It will be the third expansion of the plant. Upon completion, Hankook’s investments in Hungary will total more than $1.14 billion.

Construction will start in July 2013. Tire production is expected to begin in mid-2014 with full capacity reached in 2015.

The company says the expansion will add to the factory’s production volume, equaling a total annual output of 17 million tires per year. The expansion will create 950 new jobs.

Since opening of the plant in 2007, several million tires have been produced for the European market. Capacity steadily increased, as six million tires were produced in 2010, 9 million tires in 2011 and 12 million tires in 2012.

The plant produces tires for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks. The company says passenger car radial tires account for the majority while the UHP tire segment shows increasing growth.

OE tires are supplied directly from the plant to the European factories of Volkswagen-group, Hyundai and KIA. Further premium OE supplies are expected to start later this year, according to Hankook.

“As a key investor in Hungary and an important market player in the European automotive industry, we will continue to explore opportunities to meet the growing demand of our consumers, offering state-of-the-art tire technologies,”says Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and chief executive officer.

In addition to its operations in Hungary, the company says its third production plant in Chongqing, China, is operating at full capacity and its seventh manufacturing facility in Indonesia is set to open during the second half of 2013.

For more news on Hankook, see Hankook 1Q sales down, operating income up and Hankook is 'awarded' for producing RoadHandler.


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