The Clarksville plant, the statement added, is currently “training employees and refining processes as we prepare to ramp to commercial production.”
The South Korean tire maker had previously announced that it expected to commence production at the plant in April and build 1.7 million passenger and light truck tires there in 2017.
When the first phase is completed in 2018, the plant is scheduled to have production capacity of 5.3 million to 5.4 million tires.
Hankook broke ground on the Clarksville plant in October 2014.
Like all new Hankook factories, the Tennessee plant will be constructed in four phases. Phase 2 will see the capacity double to 11 million units.
When all four phases are completed the plant will have the capability of producing 22 million tires a year and employ 1,800.
Speaking to ERJ’s sister publication in the US, Tire Business, the then Hankook Tire America Corp’s senior vice president of sales Shawn Denlein said in February that all of the plant's output will be allocated in phase 1 to the replacement market.
Production for OE customers will be phased in as phase 2 is implemented.
Globally, Hankook's factories devote roughly 65% of capacity to replacement market and 35% for OE use.
The Seoul-based tire manufacturer expects its global production capacity to reach 135 million units by 2020, from 103 million units presently.
To that end, it is considering five locations for a new plant, potentially Mexico, Brazil, Middle East, eastern Europe and Russia.