Kumho US plant back on track
On 5 September, representatives from Kumho and leaders of Macon-Gibb County in the US state of Georgia jointly announced that an agreement has been reached that will allow the tyre maker’s Kumho Tire Georgia, Inc. unit to begin construction of its tyre plant. Kumho will initially invest around US$200 million to build the plant on a 150 acre site within the Sofkee Industrial Parklocated in Macon, Georgia. The plant will employ more than 300 people and mainly service the North American markets.
“The community never lost its support for Kumho,” stated Sam Hart, chairman of the Bibb County Commission. “And we know they never lost sight of their goal to build this plant in Georgia and in Macon-BibbCounty.”
“Kumho’s commitment to Macon-Bibb never wavered,” added Kumho Tire Georgia President Harry Choi. “Worldwide economic conditions have greatly affected our company as well as the worldwide tyre industry. Kumho Tire Georgia is strong and committed to Macon-Bibb and the US tyre industry. We thank the community, our suppliers, our employees and our customers for their support.”
The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, Bibb County Board of Education, Bibb County Tax Assessors, Bibb County Tax Commissioner, Bibb County Commissioners, and the Macon Economic Development Commission all approved an extension to the 2008 agreement. “This agreement includes substantial commitments from Kumho Tire Georgia to their goal to complete this tyre plant,” stated MBCIA Chairman Cliffard Whitby. “The community’s interests, the state’s as well as Kumho’s, were all addressed in this extension agreement,” continues Whitby.
Macon Mayor Robert Reichert stated, “We worked hard together to attract Kumho and new jobs to Macon-Bibb, and we’ve never lost that focus. The recession faced by our entire country did affect the timeline, but we all remained firm that this would be the best place for the plant.”
“Our economic development team was in constant communication with Kumho reps throughout this whole process,” stated Robbo Hatcher, chair of the MEDC. “Our partners at the state stayed in touch with Kumho Tire Co. officials in Korea also. This was a great team effort.”
- Announcement “soon” on Kumho US plant start date