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Kumho Seeks Funds for U.S. Plant

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Kumho Tire Co. announced this morning that it is moving forward on its plans for a plant within the U.S., making a request for funding.kumho2

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Yonhap News Agency reported a Kumho official confirmed that a funding request has been made with banks for the Macon-Bibb, Georgia location. The official however hinted that the process could take a long time.

Kumho officially broke ground in May 2008 for what was to be a $225 million state-of-the-art passenger tire that would start production in late 2009 with 450 employees producing an initial 2.1 million tires per year. By November 2008, the global economic meltdown forced Kumho to mothball the planned 5.7-million-square-foot plant. And then tiremaker’s own financial issues, including a multi-year “work out” program to repay debts accumulated by its parent company, kept the program further under wraps.

Kumho reported a loss of $117.3 million in 2009 but turned an operating profit the following year. The tiremaker has since been turning an operating profit shrinking the company’s overall debt.

This is the first announcement about the plant’s status since Kumho announced in September  that it was following through on plans to build a U.S. plant.

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