News & Press
Kumho Tire Co., Inc. to locate first U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Macon, GA
MACON, GA - Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, joined by company officials and local business leaders,
announced today that Korean tire manufacturer Kumho Tire Co., Inc. will locate its first U.S. manufacturing
facility in Macon, Bibb County. The new plant will create 450 jobs and $240 million in investment, including
a second phase expansion.
“Georgia’s ability to attract a high quality automotive supplier such as Kumho Tire shows the strength of
our workforce and our unparalleled transportation network,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.
“Kumho Tire joins a growing automotive sector, which already employs more than 55,000 Georgians.”
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 the Sofkee Industrial Park in south Bibb County. The building will be
1.3 million square feet on 127 acres. Kumho Tire will start construction in May, 2008 and production will
begin in October, 2009.
Governor Sonny Perdue, Kumho Tire Co. President and CEO Sae Chul Oh, and Local Community Leaders
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.”
The Sofkee Industrial Park is a unique joint venture partnership between Bibb County, the Macon-Bibb County
Industrial Authority and the owner of the site, Norfolk Southern Railroad.
“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 the tax
paying citizens of Bibb County and Kumho Tire for the confidence they have shown in Bibb County,”
states Charlie Bishop, Chairman of the Bibb County Commission. “This project would not have been
possible if not for the collaboration between the State, the Bibb County Board of Commissioners, the
Bibb County Board of Education, the Macon - Bibb County Industrial Authority and the Macon Water
Authority,” continued Bishop.
Mark Lytle, Project Manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and Joe Riley, Georgia
EMC, worked with the Macon Economic Development team to bring this project to Macon, Bibb County.
This is a great day for Macon, Bibb County and the whole Middle Georgia region,” states Billy Pitts,
Chairman of the Macon Economic Development Commission. “Kumho Tire’s decision to locate their plant
in our community proves that when a community works together great things can happen. We welcome
Kumho Tire to Macon and Bibb County,” continues Pitts.
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 as well as 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.
The Macon Economic Development Commission is the private/public partnership responsible for recruiting
new business and industry to Macon and Bibb County in Georgia and for the retention of established
companies. If you would like more information on economic development in Macon, please contact Pat
Topping, CEcD, Senior Vice President at 478-621-2030 or visit www.maconworks.com.