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Kumho’s US Plant Delayed One Year

Tire Business recently reported that Kumho Tire USA has confirmed its commitment to building a new tire plant in the United States, but that the project would be delayed by about one year due to the downturn, or until about year-end 2010. Kumho broke ground on the plant in May 2008. As originally envisioned, the $165 million plant in Bibb County, Georgia was scheduled to start production by the end of 2009 with an initial capacity of 2.1 million passenger tires, subsequently raised to 3.15 million passenger tires. However, in November 2008, Kumho announced that construction would be delayed due to the economic downturn.

Tire Business reports that

Dealers attending the company´s annual meeting, held at a Dominican Republic resort, were told construction of the factory has been delayed for one year as company officials “sit back and re-evaluate how to best use that facility.” Jim Milhaupt, national vice president of sales for Kumho Tire U.S.A., reiterated that the tire maker “has no plans to scrap it. It´s just a matter of time when we want to make that plant a reality.”

The plant was intended to serve primarily OE markets, which have been hit hard by the downturn.

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