Georgia Tire Plant Plans $22M Expansion To Boost Production

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A tire plant will spend $21.8 million to expand production in middle Georgia.

Kumho Tire and Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller announced the expansion Thursday.

The plant, which opened with a capacity of about 4 million tires a year, will be able to make another 500,000 tires a year.

Local news outlets report a groundbreaking is supposed to be held in May for the 20,000 square-foot (1,850 square-meter) expansion. The original $600 million plant opened in May 2016, hiring 400 people.

The plant will include a new automated production unit, a proprietary Kumho system that's supposed to help boost efficiency.

Seoul-based Kumho is the world’s 18th largest tire maker, operating a total of eight tire plants in China, South Korea, Vietnam and the U.S.

The Macon plant is the company's first American manufacturing facility. Since the Macon plant opened, China's Quingdao Doublestar Group acquired a controlling interest in Kumho Tire, in part due to the financial distress of the former Korean parent.

The Macon plant makes tires 17 inches or larger for passenger vehicles.

Miller did not note any incentives that government will give to the project.