Hankook Tire will invest $1.6 billion in Clarksville with recruitment plans to create 1,200 jobs in the coming years.

The expansion is set to double the tire production capacity at its Clarksville factory which is 45 miles northwest of Nashville.

This is one of Greater Nashville’s signature international economic development.

The project will boost the South Korean company’s footprint in the area, which has had a ripple effect since choosing to establish a factory in 2013.

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The tire manufacturer has chosen to locate its North American headquarters in Nashville.

This move has benefited state authorities’ efforts to lure more Korean corporations into Tennessee, like as LG Electronics, which currently has a washing machine plant in Clarksville.

Hankook now employs 950 people at the Clarksville tire facility.

Sooil Lee, CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology and President of Hankook Tire America Corp, said: “The investment in our Tennessee Plant further demonstrates Hankook’s growing presence in the U.S. and commitment to serving our customers.

“Through a focus on sustainable construction and innovative manufacturing, the new phase of our Tennessee Plant will provide an effective local-to-local supply chain to more effectively fulfill customer demand.

“Additionally, we are extremely proud to continue to support the local economy by bringing 1,200 new jobs to the Clarksville area.”

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A company spokesperson said its expected two-phase expansion, part of which was announced last year, would create an additional 1,200 jobs – more than doubling the size of the operation.

That hiring would raise Hankook’s headcount above 1,800 announced in 2013, as part of an agreement won with $120 million in state and local incentives.

The company’s “previously planned Phase 2” investment would treble the yearly output of tires for passenger cars and “light truck” vehicles to a total of 11 million tires per year.

Hankook will also begin producing tires for commercial trucks and buses, resulting in an additional 1 million tires produced each year.

This “Phase 3” manufacturing will be Hankook’s first in the US, allowing the business to minimize its reliance on imported tires to service the North American market.

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In 2021, it will account for nearly 30 percent of Hankook’s global sales.

A state-issued announcement Monday focused on Phase 3 represents about 400 new jobs and $612 million of the overall investment. 

It was unclear whether the state is granting incentives related to Phase 3.

Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in early 2023, pending requisite government permissions and other agreements.

Tire production at the new facility might begin in late 2024 and reach capacity by early 2026.

Source: Business Journals

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