Nanjing a ‘Strong Partner’ for Kumho
As reported on November 7, Kumho Tires has officially opened its new $US100 million factory in Nanjing, China. This facility, with an annual capacity of more than 300,000 truck and bus tyres, will feed China’s market, which in this segment is expected to grow between 25 and 30 per cent each year.
“Kumho Tires is already the number one passenger car tyre maker in China and this state-of-the-art plant gives us an important foothold in its fast-growing truck and bus tyre market,” said Sae-chul Oh, president and CEO of Kumho Tires. “China has enormous growth potential and is a key part of our strategy to become one of the top five global tyre makers.”
This plant, says Kumho Tire, is an important component in its strategy to build a global manufacturing network in which tyres are produced in the same regions as they are sold. This is Kumho’s fourth tyre factory in China; the company already operates facilities in Nanjing, Tianjin and Changchun. The company also established a research and development centre in Tianjin in 2006, which includes testing facilities for chemical analysis and performance tests.
“Long term business strategies for Kumho Tires in China include reinforcing positive product perception and brand image while enhancing competitiveness in distribution by diversifying sales channels,” said B.C. Kim, head of Kumho Tires’ China Subsidiary. “With the completion of the plant, Kumho Tires will achieve operational efficiency and create products that are suited to Chinese local tastes.”
To mark the plant’s opening the company invited approximately 200 prominent businesspeople and government officials from Korea and China to attend a ceremony in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province. Kumho Tires will also construct a four-lane road that will stretch more than five kilometres through Nanjing by 2009. The city will name the road in honour of the company, says Kumho.
“We see Nanjing as a strong partner for Kumho Tires and this new plant is a win-win opportunity for both the city and for us,” added Mr. Oh. “The city benefits through jobs, economic stimulus and additional infrastructure, and we gain the incredibly dedicated and well-educated workforce that Nanjing offers.”