Akron, Ohio – Five new tire manufacturing facilities are being built in the U.S., all scheduled to begin production either this year or next.
Of these, Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi LLC's commercial tire plant in West Point, Mississippi, is the most imminent. The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Yokohama West Point facility is scheduled for 5 Oct a little more than two years after the September 2013 ground-breaking.
As of 18 Aug, Yokohama had hired 260 workers for the West Point plant, a company spokesman said. By the end of 2015, the tire maker expects to have nearly 300 workers employed at the approximately 1 million-sq.-ft. plant, with its total work force expected to be 500.
Yokohama invested $300 million (€265 million) for phase one of the plant, which is being built on a 500-acre site near West Point. The operation will have an initial production capacity of 1 million tires annually, as well as warehousing and operations facilities, the company said.
The other four plants scheduled to begin production shortly are:
• The Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. passenger and light truck tire manufacturing facility near Clarksville, Tennessee, which the company said in October 2014 it planned to begin production by January 2016.
When completed, the $800 million, 1.5 million-sq.-ft. plant on 470 acres is expected to employ 1,200 and have an annual production capacity of 5.5 million tires. Hankook plans a second phase of production to go online by 2018, which will double annual capacity to 11 million tires and increase total employment to 1,800.
Hankook officials could not be reached for updates.
• The Giti Tire Group passenger and light truck tire plant at Richburg, South Carolina, scheduled to begin production in 2017.
Giti broke ground on the $560 million Richburg facility in February 2015. When completed, Giti's first North American plant will create 1,700 jobs over the next 10 years, according to the company.
A Giti spokesman declined to comment on further progress at the Richburg site, except to say the project was progressing.
• Trelleborg AB's agricultural tire plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2015.
A Trelleborg spokeswoman has confirmed it plans to spend $50 million through 2018 to convert its coated fabrics facility in Spartanburg into a 430,000-sq.-ft plant. Almost all of that space will be used to produce Trelleborg premium radial agricultural tires. The facility would employ 150 by 2018 at full capacity, she said. The company did not disclose the expected annual production capacity.
A Trelleborg official said he wasn't authorized to discuss any further details on the transition.
• Kumho Tire Co. Inc's long-delayed, $413 million consumer tire plant in Macon, Georgia.
Kumho resumed work on the facility in August 2014, after halting construction six years earlier because of the international economic downturn. Situated on 150 acres in the Sofkee Industrial Park south of Macon, the plant will employ 450 when it opens.
A Kumho spokesman said the company's goal was to begin production in Macon in January 2016. No ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned, he said.
According to a spokesman from the United Steelworkers, the union has plans to organize each of the facilities, but the spokesman said the union won't discuss specifics.