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Kumho Tire to Locate First U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Macon

Korean tire company to create 450 jobs, invest $225 million in Bibb County facility | 01/29/2008

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ATLANTA – January 29, 2008 – Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Korean tire manufacturer Kumho Tire Co., Inc. will locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Macon. The new plant will create 450 jobs and $225 million in investment, including a second phase expansion.

“Georgia’s ability to attract Kumho Tire shows the strength of our workforce and our unparalleled transportation network,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. “Georgia is perfectly positioned to allow an industry leader such as Kumho to thrive and succeed, creating hundreds of new jobs for our citizens.”

Governor Perdue met with Kumho executives in Korea during his Asian trade mission last October just weeks after hosting company officials in Atlanta in August. The company, based in Gwangju, Korea, plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Sofkee Industrial Park in south Bibb County. The building will be 1.3 million square feet on 127 acres at the industrial park. Kumho Tire will start construction in May 2008, and production will begin in October 2009.

This new facility will enable Kumho Tire to increase supply to U.S. automotive manufacturing sectors and further penetrate the North American market.

“The U.S. is the home of automobile industry and is the largest tire market in the world,” said Sae Chul Oh, Ph.D., CEO and President of Kumho Tires Co. “Kumho Tire can reduce its freight costs and increase market share in the U.S. by having a manufacturing plant here in Georgia.”

“Kumho Tire’s decision to locate their first U.S. manufacturing facility in Bibb County is a testament to the Central Georgia workforce. The Bibb County Board of Commissioners would like to thank Kumho Tire for the confidence they have shown in our citizens by locating in Bibb County,” said Charlie Bishop, chairman of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners. “This project would not have been possible if not for the collaboration between the state, our organization, the Bibb County Board of Education, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority and the Macon Water Authority.”

Kumho Tire opened a new distribution center in Henry County in the spring of 2007. The strategic location just off of I-75 south of Atlanta helps Kumho efficiently serve their large network of independent tire distributors and installers across Georgia and the southeast.

Kumho Tire was founded in 1960 and has grown to become one of the top 10 tire manufacturers in the world. Its products include ultra high performance tires for the automotive market and for motor sports. Kumho’s focus on technology and providing excellent customer service has made it a top brand in the world of automotive tires.

Mark Lytle was project manager for Georgia Department of Economic Development.

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