Nexen's new plant is key to firm's growth goals
By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff
Changnyeong, South Korea -- Nexen Tire Corp. has begun limited production at its $1 billion car and light truck tyre plant in Changnyeong, an investment the company said is key to its goal of becoming a global Top 10 tyre maker.
Seoul, South Korea-based Nexen broke ground on the plant, its second in Korea and third overall, in June 2010. The factory is ramping up production with 500 employees initially and should be producing at a rate of 3 million tyres a year in this its first year of production.
The plant will be expanded in a series of investments over the coming six years, Nexen said, to reach 60,000 units a day, or 21 million a year, by 2018 with about 2,000 employees.
In a prepared statement, Nexen Tire CEO Hyung Bong Lee said, â€œWe are putting our hearts and souls into Nexen Tire's industrial complex in Changnyeong to become a global tyre manufacturer.â€
Lee said together with the company's original plant in Yangsan, South Korea, and its second factory in Qingdao, China, Nexen's annual production volume is growing toward 60 million units annually, or three times its existing capacity. The new plant uses â€œhighly automatedâ€ manufacturing technologies with minimum labor.
Nexen said its goal for the plant is for it to produce â€œworld-class ultra-high-performanceâ€ tyres that also are eco-friendly. Nexen also said the plant offers â€œgreen growth development.â€
With 2011 annual sales of roughly $1.3 billon, Nexen ranks as the No. 25 tyre maker worldwide, according to Tire Business' calculations.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)