The Hankook Tire board of directors has approved a US$1.6bn investment to expand the company’s plant in Clarksville, Tennessee.
The investment includes Hankook’s previously planned Phase 2 expansion of the site, which will double the production capacity of passenger car and light truck (PC/LT) tires. A Phase 3 expansion will include the manufacturer’s first US truck bus and radial (TBR) production site. The Phase 3 project aims to create over 400 jobs at the site – totaling 1,200 upon completion of both projects.
Hankook is scheduled to break ground on the new facility in the first months of 2023, ahead of tire production beginning at the new phases of the plant by Q4 2024. The site is expected to reach full capacity in early 2026.
Through the expansion, Hankook’s US PC/LT production capacity will increase to 11 million units per year while also enabling the production of one million TBR tires annually. To date, the tire maker’s total investment in the site is US$2.2bn. It will enable the company to meet the growing demand for its tires in the US market while also supporting original equipment partners.
“The investment in our Tennessee plant further demonstrates Hankook’s growing presence in the US and commitment to serving our customers,” said Soo Il Lee, CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology and president of Hankook Tire America. “Through a focus on sustainable construction and innovative manufacturing, the new phase of our Tennessee plant will provide an effective local-to-local supply chain to more effectively fulfill customer demand.”
“This production expansion is a vital step in our growth in the medium truck market, making Hankook one of only a few manufacturers producing TBR products in the US,” added Rob Williams, senior vice president of North America sales at Hankook Tire America. “As a result, we can better meet the needs of both our growing dealer base and the fleets that serve the North American shipping lanes.”