Nashville, Tennessee – Just as Hankook Tire America Corp.'s first U.S. plant ramps up production in Clarksville, Tenn., the North American subsidiary has named a new president.
Hosung Suh, who the company said has garnered vast strategic planning experience during his career at Hankook, was named to the position, effective 1 July.
Suh previously served as the senior vice president of Hankook Tire Co. Inc.'s Global Corporate Strategy Planning Division. He fills the role held by president Hee-se Ahn, who has led Hankook Tire America since January 2015.
Hankook said one of Suh's objectives is to grow the tire maker's presence in the American market.
"The United States market is very important to Hankook Tire," Suh said in a statement. "I am excited to join our outstanding team to achieve the company's goals in this region."
Commercial tire production at the South Korean tire maker's $580 million (€508 million) plant in Clarksville will start later this year. By 2018, the plant is expected to have the capacity to produce 16,000 units a day.
The factory's output is expected to generate approximately $500 million in annual sales revenue at full capacity, the company said in a 2016 financial statement, and provide Hankook the resources to boost its original equipment sales, especially in the premium sector.
The tire maker also recently moved its headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee.
In his previous role, Suh was responsible for developing corporate strategy, leading enterprise transformation and identifying and executing business development for the Hankook Tire Group.
Prior to joining Hankook, Suh served in various roles with the financial companies of Hyundai Motor Group, including life insurance, investment securities, credit card and auto financing. He held various positions including chief strategy officer; chief financial officer; chief marketing officer; and chief operating officer.
He also worked at Bain & Co., a global strategy consulting firm.
During Ahn's tenure, Hankook Tire America reported sales growth of 15 percent in the replacement tire market and forged strong OE relationships with auto makers. The company was named a General Motors Supplier of the Year for the first time in company history earlier this year.
Hankook already supplies Ford Motor Co., Honda North America Inc. and Hyundai/Kia Automotive in North America; and GM.
Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. is targeting 15% revenue growth in fiscal 2017 after reporting a 24.7% improved operating profit for fiscal 2016 on 3.1% higher sales.