Premium tyre maker Hankook announced today that its board of directors approved a $1.6bn investment to expand its Tennessee plant, located in Clarksville. The investment includes the previously planned Phase 2 expansion that will double production capacity of Hankook’s passenger-car and light-truck (PCR/LT) tyres, and adds a Phase 3 expansion with the company’s first US production of Truck Bus and Radial (TBR) tyres. The addition of the Phase 3 expansion project will bring 400 more jobs to the Clarksville area for a total of 1,200 new jobs overall.
Hankook will double US PCR/LT production to 11 million units and enable production of 1 million TBR tyres annually. The expansion also brings Hankook’s total investment in the area to $2.2bn and will enable the company to further provide tyre dealers and consumers with high-quality tyres and industry-leading services to meet the demands of the American market, while supporting existing and future original equipment (OE) partners.
“The investment in our Tennessee plant further underlines Hankook’s growing presence in the US and our commitment to serving our customers,” said Sooil Lee, CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology and President of Hankook Tire America Corp. “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 fulfil customer demand. Additionally, we are extremely proud that we can continue supporting the local economy by bringing 1,200 new jobs to the Clarksville area.”
Tennessee site expansion: course set for increased presence in the US market
Since Hankook’s state-of-the-art Tennessee plant opened in October 2017, Hankook has produced 5.5 million tyres annually for the North American market and generated 950 jobs. The North American market accounted for more than 28% of total Hankook Tire sales in 2021.
“This production expansion is a vital step towards expanding our growth in the medium truck market, making Hankook one of only a few manufacturers producing TBR products in the US,” said Rob Williams, Senior Vice President, North America Sales, Hankook Tire America Corp. “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.”
Hankook is expected to break ground on the new plant in early 2023, subject to definitive agreements, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Tyre production at the new phases of the plant will begin by Q4 2024 and will reach full capacity by early 2026.
“Global brands like Hankook Tire choose to invest in Tennessee because of our strong business climate, skilled workforce and central location,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “I thank Hankook for its continued investment in our state and for creating 400 new manufacturing jobs for Tennesseans in Montgomery County.”