Kumho sets the stage for Vietnam plant

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This month, Kumho Tire Co. will finalize its plans to build a tire manufacturing plant in Vietnam.

The state-of-the-art radial tire plant will be able to produce Kumho ultra-high performance tires. Kumho says the UHP tires not only will be distributed throughout Vietnam but also to Asia, North and South America and Europe.

Kumho executives recently met with Becamex, an investor group, and Binh Duong Province Mayor Hoang Son Nguyen to close the deal. "Because of Vietnam's political and social stability along with its vast workforce and geological resources, it is an ideal place for a manufacturing operation," says Kumho Tire President Sae Chul Oh.

"Through this deal, Kumho Tire will have plants not only in China but also in Vietnam, strengthening the foundations that will prepare Kumho to be a global competitor."

Kumho is expected to finish negotiations in April, with ground-breaking of the 3.4-million-square-foot plant to begin later this year. Kumho hopes to complete the project by the first half of 2008.

"Because the Vietnam plant will be able to obtain its workforce and raw materials easily and at a low cost, it will allow Kumho Tire a competitive edge once it is completed," adds a Kumho spokesperson.

The $155 million plant will produce 3.15 million radial tires a year, according to Kumho. It will have similar capabilities to the plant being built in Jiang Chun, China, which Kumho says will be ready to produce tires in late 2007.

When the China and Vietnam plants are completed, Kumho will be able to produce 64 million tires a year.

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