South Korean tire maker Hankook is planning to spend $407 million on the expansion of its plant in Racalmas, Hungary over two years to boost capacity for car and light truck tires by 42 percent. The expansion will boost the facility’s annual capacity to 17 million tires from the current 12 million by 2015.
Construction work is scheduled to start next month, with the first Hankook tires rolling off the new extension in mid 2014, before reaching full capacity in 2015.
The Racalmas plant opened in 2007, with an initial annual capacity of 6 million tires. Output reached 9 million in 2011 and last year grew to 12 million.
“We are happy to announce the construction plan for the third expansion phase of our European factory today.” says SeungHwaSuh, Hankook Vice Chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire. “As a key investor in Hungary and an important market player in the European automotive industry, we will continue to explore opportunities to meet the growing demand of our consumers, offering state-of-the-art tire technologies.”
The company’s Racalmas plant currently produces tires for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks in various different specifications. Passenger car radial tires account for the majority of the total production while thanks to the increased recognition of Hankook’s high product quality in Europe, the UHP tire segment shows increasing growth rates as well. OE tires are supplied directly from the plant to the European factories of Volkswagen-group, Hyundai and KIA, giving proof of the excellent production standards. Further premium OE supplies are expected to start later this year.