Kumho has officially inaugurated its US$450m production facility in Macon, Georgia, USA. The new facility has an annual capacity of four million tires, which will be increased incrementally to 10 million.
Mainly 17in tires or larger for passenger cars and ultra-high performance tires will be built at the facility, 80% of which are expected to be sold as OE tires to global auto makers in North America including Hyundai, Kia and Chrysler.
The Georgia plant is equipped with a cutting-edge proprietary system called Automated Production Unit that will help boost product quality and manufacturing efficiency. In addition, a new lot tracking system using RFID combined with laser guided vehicles (unmanned carriers that move along pre-determined routes) ensure fully-automated movement of products, which enables real-time production control on a strict first-in-first-out basis.
Production for the new factory began in May 2008 but was suspended shortly after due to the fall-out from the global financial crisis that autumn, before resuming in 2014 and being completed earlier this year. The plant sits on an area of approximately 5,704,872ft2 and has a gross floor area of 861,112.8ft2.
“North America is home to one of the world’s largest auto and tire markets. We believed a production base on this crucial continent is a must if we are to significantly expand our presence in the market in our bid to become a top tire manufacturer,” said Park Sam-gu, chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, at the completion ceremony.
“Along with this state-of-the-art facility, Kumho will put into place an advanced management system for day-to-day operations so that all employees can be proud of their company. Kumho Tire will also strive to make the best plant the pride of the entire community.”
Look out for a full report on the Macon factory in the July 2016 issue of Tire Technology International.
May 4, 2016