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South Korean Firm Buys Goodyear Cord Business

(Akron/Tire Review) Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is selling its global tire cord operations to South Korea’s Hyosung Corp.

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The $80 million deal includes tire cord plants in Utica, N.Y., Decatur, Ala., Americana, Brazil, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg.

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Additionally, Goodyear and Hyosung signed a supply deal assuring Hyosung with $350 million to $400 million in purchases in the first year.

This is the second U.S.-based tire cord business Hyosung has purchased. In 2003, Hyosung bought Michelin North America’s tire fabric plant in Scottsville, Va., signing an exclusive supply deal with MNA.

The plants employ about 1,000 people and produce fabric used in Goodyear’s tires.

In addition to tire cords, Hyosung manufactures carpet, plastic bottles and nylon. The company said the supply contract will mean some $3.2 billion over the next five to 10 years.

"The acquisition of the tire cord plants will expand and solidify our global manufacturing base. We are set to gain a foothold to expand into the high-margin European market and the fast-growing South American market," Hyosung officials said.

Hyosung has two tire cord plants in South Korea, three in China and one in the U.S., which generated sales revenue of $731 million in 2005.

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