Fire at Hankook Plant Under Investigation

March 16, 2023

A fire that broke out at Hankook Tire & Technology's tire manufacturing plant in Daejon, South Korea, on March 12 has been extinguished. But it is uncertain when the plant will resume production.

According South Korea news media reports, the Daejon plant – one of eight Hankook plants worldwide - produces 20 million tires annually, with 65% of its output shipped overseas.

More than 200,000 tires were destroyed in the multiple-day blaze, according to the Korea JoonAng Daily.

The fire "was completely extinguished around 8 a.m. local time on March 15," according to a Hankook spokesperson.

"An investigation will be conducted and a damage assessment will take place afterwards.

"In the meantime, we plan to optimize our supply chain to the best of our ability to continue to source and distribute products to supply our partners with minimal interruption."

Hankook has one plant in the U.S. - in Clarksville, Tenn. - that has the capacity to produce 13.9 million consumer tire units a year, according to MTD's 2023 Facts Issue.

When asked how long the plant will be down, Hankook's spokesperson said the situation will be assessed "after the official investigation is finalized."

Three days before the fire erupted, Hankook Chairman Cho Hyun-bum was arrested on charges of embezzlement, according to reports.

He remains "under custody for investigation," a Hankook spokesperson has told MTD, adding that "we do not expect this to impact our market."