Kumho will build plant in Georgia

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Kumho Tires Co. Inc. has signed an agreement to build a $225 million passenger and light truck tire manufacturing plant in Macon, Ga. The factory will be built in two phases, say Kumho officials.

The first phase will cost $165 million and will have an annual production capacity of 2.1 million units, which will boost Kumho's global manufacturing capacity to 77 million units. The first phase is scheduled to be done at the end of 2009.

The second phase of construction, which is slated to be done in 2011, will cost $60 milion and will boost the facility's annual capacity to 3.1 million tires.

Kumho expects to break ground on the 5.5 million-square-foot factory in May. The facility will use automated equipment developed by Kumho's research and development center in South Korea. It will employ 400 during the first phase and a total of 450 after the second phase.

"Setting a base of production here will help Kumho gain more market share," says Sae Chul Oh, CEO and president of Kumho Tires Co. Inc.

"This new plant will help Kumho reduce freight costs and will also set up a stronger base for the company to achieve its goal of becoming the fifth largest tire company in the world by 2015."

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