Hankook Tire and the Hungarian government have jointly announced details of further investment in the tire manufacturer’s European production facility, located 60 kilometers south of Budapest. Hankook plans to invest some 313 million euros in adding a further manufacturing unit to the site, which will create over 950 new jobs and further boost Hankook’s production volume in Europe, bringing capacity up to 17 million tires per year.
The investment represents the third expansion phase of Hankook’s European plant. Upon completion, the company will have put around 880 million euros into the site. Construction is scheduled to start in June 2013 with production beginning in mid-2014; full capacity is expected to be reached in 2015.
Since the initial opening of the plant in 2007, several million tires have been produced in Hankook’s European factory and output has been growing steadily. Capacity totaled some 6 million tires in 2010. By 2011 production reached 9 million tires and went up to 12 million tires in 2012.
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 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. Further premium OE supplies are expected to start later this year.
“We are happy to announce the construction plan for the third expansion phase of our European factory today.” said Seung Hwa Suh, 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.” (Tyres & Accessories)