London – Hankook Tire America Corp. is insisting that it is “tracking with the updated timeline” at its plant in Clarksville, Tennessee.
The comment came following a 13 June ERJ story which said commercial production at the facility had been delayed from a scheduled start-up date in April.
In response to ERJ’s report, the South Korean tire maker said the plant is “not producing tires for commercial distribution at this time, [but] it is operational and tracking with the updated timeline.”
"As planned commercial production will commence later this year," Hankook said.
The tire-maker did not provide details of this new ‘timeline’ but said the plan had been to begin ramping up production in April, “which is where we currently stand”.
That ramp-up, the tire maker further explained, is what “we previously labeled as ‘up and running’.”
Following correspondence with Hankook Tire America, ERJ reported on 13 June that the plant start-up has been delayed as it had been scheduled to commence commercial-scale operations over a month ago.
In a written statement to ERJ, a Hankook spokesman had confirmed that the US facility was “not producing tires for commercial distribution at this time.”
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, having previously announced that the plant would start up in 2016.