Nashville, Tennessee – Hankook Tire America Corp. executives, along with Tennessee officials, announced on 13 April that the South Korean tire maker will relocate its North American headquarters to Nashville from Wayne, New Jersey, investing approximately $5 million (€4.4 million) and creating up to 200 jobs in Davidson County in the process.
Hankook to move US headquarters to Nashville
Tennessee governor Bill Haslam – who appeared at a press conference today with other state officials including Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd – said that by “choosing Nashville for the location of its North American headquarters, Hankook Tire continues to help make our state known as a worldwide leader in the automotive sector.
“This will be the company’s second facility in Tennessee – an investment that brings us closer to our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the state for high quality jobs, and we thank Hankook for its commitment to creating jobs in Tennessee.”
In announcing the move to Nashville later this year, Hankook Tire vice chairman and CEO Seung Hwa Suh said the tire maker believes that “by relocating our headquarters to Nashville, Hankook Tire can benefit from the people, resources and infrastructures of Tennessee, and we hope it will provide job opportunities and contribute to the Tennessee economy.”
This is the second facility in the state for Hankook – which said it is in the process of looking in downtown Nashville for space for the new headquarters. In 2014 the company broke ground on a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee, that is due to begin production by year-end.
Both moves are part of Hankook’s expanded plans to service North American markets as well as auto makers located in the state.
Car makers located in the Nashville area include Nissan North America’s headquarters in Franklin and manufacturing plant in Smyrna. General Motors Co. also has a manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, according to the Tennessean newspaper.
Development commissioner Boyd said the company could have chosen “anywhere to locate its North American headquarters, and it says volumes about Davidson County and Tennessee that they chose us.
“Hankook Tire is an innovative leader in its industry, and we are proud that they now call Tennessee home for the new headquarters.”
The company was established in 1941 in South Korea and entered the U.S. market in 1981. Hankook has more than 20,000 employees globally. It also operates a technical centre in Akron, along with distribution centres in New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, California and Oregon.
Local and state leaders chimed in to express gratitude to Hankook for choosing Nashville for its headquarters.
Tennessee House speaker Beth Harwell, who represents a portion of Davidson County, called the move “great news.” She cited the creation of new jobs in the county — a sentiment echoed by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who said Hankook “joins a growing number of international firms (that) have chosen to invest in Nashville and become cherished members of our community.”