Korean Manufacturer to Build Tire Plant in Georgia

Facility will employ 450 people when completed

Kumho Tires Co. Inc. will construct a $225 million tire plant on a 127-acre site in Macon, Ga., where the company will produce passenger car and light truck radial tires for the original and replacement equipment markets in the United States.

The plant will be built in two phases with initial operations expected to begin in 2009. The first phase will cost $165 million and have an annual production capacity of 2.1 million tires. The second phase, which is slated for completion in 2011, will cost $60 million and raise the plant's total annual capacity to 3.1 million tires.

The plant will feature state-of-the-art automated equipment developed by Kumho's research and development center in Korea.

Kumho is the world's 10th largest tire maker and is trying to gain market share with the move.

"This is one of the greatest tire markets in the world," said President and CEO Sae Chul Oh said in a prepared statement. "Setting a base of production here will help Kumho gain more market share. 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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