Hankook Tire to open facility in Clarksville - WSMV Channel 4

Hankook Tire to open facility in Clarksville, create more than 1,000 jobs

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

One of the biggest tire manufacturers in the world has unveiled an $800 million investment in Middle Tennessee.

Hankook Tire Company, based in South Korea, has committed to build its first American plant in Clarksville in a move that will create 1,800 new jobs for the area.

"This is a historic day for Clarksville, Montgomery County and the state of Tennessee," said Gov. Bill Haslam.

"We are sure we can secure good people from this area without any problems. That is the main reason we chose Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee," said Hankook CEO Seung Hwa Suh.

The facility itself will span 1.5 million square feet, and construction will begin next year, with plans to begin production by late 2015.

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers said this will be a huge boom for the county's economy, where she says unemployment still sits around 8 percent.

"We have some surrounding counties that have a worse unemployment rate than us, so I'm sure we'll have people coming from the Kentucky area, too," Bowers said.

A $72 million state incentive package helped Tennessee win Hankook over.

"You're competing with other states, and you don't know what they're offering, and you really have to be in the game and be ready," Bowers said.

Georgia and South Carolina were in the running, but Bowers says it was Tennessee's booming auto industry, central location and good weather that helped make a deal.

The company has plants in four different countries and has approximately 20,000 employees.

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