Hankook ready for 12M unit capacity in Hungary
Work on phase two of Hankook Tire’s Rácalmás plant in Hungary is now complete. The tyre maker began its project to expand the plant in September 2009 and produced its first ‘phase two’ tyre in November 2010; now the Rácalmás factory is gearing up to produce 12 million tyres per annum and boasts a workforce of 1,900.
Hankook says it decided to invest an additional 230 million euros in its European plant to meet “dynamically growing demand for Hankook tyres in the European market.” The 58,000 square metre unit erected during the phase two project doubled the factory’s production volume, allowing for an additional daily output of up to 17,000 tyres. More than 22.5 million tyres have now been produced in Rácalmás since the plant initially opened in 2007. Over the past four or so years capacity has grown steadily, a trend that can be observed when comparing annual production figures; while six million tyres were manufactured in the Hungarian plant last year, total production for 2011 is expected to reach nine million units and then increase to 12 million as of 2012.
Rácalmás production includes passenger car, 4×4 and light commercial vehicle tyres, with more than 500 specifications manufactured in total. Most tyres produced there are passenger car radials, although Hankook notes that UHP output at the Rácalmás site is increasing. Indeed, the Korean tyre maker’s flagship product, the Ventus S1 evo², was recently added to its “made in Europe” product portfolio. Supply to OEM customers, which currently accounts for ten per cent of all Rácalmás production, is another expected growth area.
“We are pleased to announce we have successfully completed the second phase of expansion in Hungary as planned and are now operating one of the most modern tyre production facilities worldwide,” Jin-Wook Choi, Hankook Tire executive vice-president and COO for Europe. “Apart from state-of-the-art technologies our success depends on every one of our employees and business partners and we would like to thank them for their commitment and contributions. As a key investor in Hungary and an important market player in the European automotive industry, Hankook is committed to continue its efforts to pursue dynamic growth and further developments to meet the growing demand for high quality tyres in Europe.”