Hankook Tire opens its first US manufacturing plant

Hankook Tire opens its first US manufacturing plant

Oct 19, 2017

By Traction News Staff Hankook Tire held its grand opening ceremony for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S., underscoring its commitment to technology, innovation and growth in North America. The development of the Tennessee Plant is integral to Hankook’s strategic vision of becoming a top-tier tire brand, while providing high-quality, made-in-USA products to its customers. The grand opening celebration took place at the facility in Clarksville, Tenn., and was attended by State of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, United States Representative Marsha Blackburn, Korean Consul General Seong-jin Kim, and several other prominent state and local officials. The Tennessee Plant is Hankook’s eighth plant worldwide and joins a global footprint of state-of-the-art manufacturing that serves customers globally. The plant’s first phase will produce 5.5 million units annually, enabling Hankook to more efficiently provide tire dealers and consumers with high-quality tires and industry-leading services to meet the demands of the American market, while supporting existing and future Original Equipment (OE) partners. The plant has already brought nearly 1,000 jobs to the local economy, a total that is expected to climb to 1,800 as infrastructure expands. In addition, Hankook moved its American headquarters to Nashville last year and has hired more than 100 local employees to oversee operations there. “The new Tennessee Plant signifies Hankook Tire’s growing business in the United States and continued journey toward being a global leader in the tire industry,” said Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire. “Our investment in the U.S. is part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, state-of-the-art technology and service for our customers. This high-tech, sustainable facility will enable Hankook to execute every phase of business in the U.S., from R&D to production and sales.” Hankook incorporated sustainable design and construction practices into development of the 1.5 million square foot facility, which sits on 469 acres. Leveraging top-tier technology and highly automated processes, the Tennessee Plant will produce Passenger Car Radial (PCR) and Light Truck Radial (LTR) tires from Hankook’s extensive North American lineup, including the KINERGY PT, a premium touring all-season tire and Hankook’s first tire made in the U.S. “Hankook Tire’s new plant brings tremendous economic growth and opportunity for Tennesseans,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam....

Manufacturing jobs booming, but may be harder to fill

Manufacturing jobs booming, but may be harder to fill

Oct 6, 2017

By Suzanne O’Halloran, Fox Business When South Korean appliance giant LG broke ground for a new one-million-square foot washing machine factory in Clarksville, Tenn. in August, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was side-by-side with LG North American President and CEO William Cho cheering a project that is expected to create 600 jobs and perhaps many more in the years ahead. “Our Clarksville factory has great potential to expand to produce other products beyond just washing machines,” said William Cho President & CEO LG North America during an interview with FOX Business. “We have 310 acres…and our new washing machine facility will occupy just one-quarter of that when it opens in early 2019. The other three-quarters will have potential to extend additional LG home appliances.”   The plant, LG’s largest in the U.S., is set to open in the first quarter of 2019 and will add 600 well-paying jobs manufacturing jobs to the U.S. pipeline with potential for more. Cho says the company will focus some of its recruiting and hiring efforts on nearby Fort Campbell to tap what he describes as military veterans that are “skilled workers”.  Additionally, the company also announced plans to open an electric vehicle component factory in Michigan, creating an additional 300 new jobs, and is building its North American headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey which should double local employment to 1,000 jobs. LG joins a growing list of global companies coming to the U.S. to open factories to the delight of President Donald Trump. Earlier this year Foxconn, the Taiwanese Apple (AAPL) supplier, announced plans for a Wisconsin plant that is expected to create 3,000 new jobs, while Toyota (TM) and Mazda announced a joint-venture plan to build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant promising 4,000 new jobs starting in 2021. These future factories may help continue the U.S. manufacturing sector’s momentum as the country makes more goods, but its job growth may not carry the same momentum. “Job growth may not be staggering, but we could staunch the bleeding.  Could we boost manufacturing output, produce more stuff? Yes,” former White House director of economic policy under George H.W. Bush Todd Buchholz tells FOX Business. Automation and technology is also creating a...

Regulation’s Impact on Manufacturing

Regulation’s Impact on Manufacturing

Sep 8, 2017

By Stephen Gray, Area Development The volume of rules and policies with which manufacturers need to comply is onerous — cutting into their competitiveness and growth opportunities. The U.S. manufacturing industry is a force to be reckoned with. From its emergence during the Industrial Revolution in 1820, the sector has experienced repeated blows from the Great Depression to the Great Recession more recently. Despite these setbacks coupled with a highly evolving global industry, U.S. manufacturing has shown its resilience. Modern manufacturing is thriving across America. The fact remains that manufacturing has much more potential, if certain hurdles weren’t in the way. Among the top challenges manufacturers face are regulatory concerns, an inequitable tax system when compared with certain other countries, and, in some cases, unfair subsidies provided to certain industries by foreign governments. Manufacturers recognize that a safe working atmosphere and healthy environment are ensured through regulation. But, the complexity of regulations often results in duplicative, poorly designed and thus ineffective rules adding an unnecessary burden to manufacturing operations. Since 1981, the federal government has issued at least one manufacturing-related regulation each week. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has found that the industrial sector faces a staggering 297,696 restrictions on their operations from federal regulations. Is the federal government overstepping its intended power? Rules and policy within reason are valuable, but will the U.S. economy begin to falter if the rate of regulation continues to rise? Notably, no regulations have been eliminated. With the sheer volume of new rules and policies to keep up with, manufacturers are not able to focus on competitiveness and growth opportunities, factors that feed into a prosperous economy. The Burden Manufacturing Faces The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the majority of rules that impact industrial productions across the United States. While environmental issues are vital to the future of humanity, some flaws exist that counter the real benefits. American companies and associations, including U.S. Steel Corporation and the American Petroleum Institute, have openly voiced how regulatory burdens prevent building and expansion opportunities. Valero Energy Corporation, which is a member of the American Fuels and Petrochemicals Manufacturers Association, has pointed out that its manufacturing operations are “significantly impacted by the inefficiencies of...

Survey: US August factory activity at 6-plus year high

Survey: US August factory activity at 6-plus year high

Sep 6, 2017

By Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer, ABC News U.S. factories expanded at a brisk pace in August, a likely sign of strength for the U.S. economy as new orders, production and employment all improved. The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its manufacturing index rose to 58.8 percent last month from 56.3 percent in July. Anything above 50 signals that factory activity is increasing. The measure now stands at its highest level since April 2011, pointing to solid economic growth. Fourteen of eighteen manufacturing industries surveyed by ISM posted growth in August, including the machinery, petroleum and coal products, and computer and electronic products sectors. August was “a really strong month,” Timothy Fiore, chair of ISM’s manufacturing business survey committee, said in a telephone interview. He noted that the growth was mostly driven by the top manufacturing sectors. It’s early to predict the impact on the oil, gas and chemical industries and on the broader economy of Hurricane Harvey. But Fiore said a snap survey of ISM members showed there likely will be a significant hit to the petroleum and chemical products sectors and “lots of supply chain disruptions.” Refining capacity, raw materials and the ability to deliver products all have been drastically affected by the storm that lashed Houston and nearby areas and shut down oil refineries, plastics plants and the Houston port — the second-busiest in the nation. There have been widespread reports of gasoline shortages. The chemical products sector is one of the six biggest manufacturing industries, accounting for 17 percent of total activity, Fiore noted. Petroleum and coal, also among the “Big Six,” account for 7 percent. Texas represents more than 10 percent of U.S. manufacturing production. Chemical products refining in the state accounts for 20 percent of the U.S. total, and oil and gas represents 30 percent. U.S. factories have largely recovered from a slump in late 2015 and early 2016 caused by cutbacks in the energy industry and a strong dollar, which makes U.S. goods more expensive in foreign markets. Manufacturing employment began a sustained turnaround in December and enjoyed four additional months of job gains, only to have factories shed 1,000 workers in May. New government data issued Friday...

How Wages, Taxes, and American Value are Reshoring…

How Wages, Taxes, and American Value are Reshoring…

Aug 24, 2017

“How Wages, Taxes, and American Value are Reshoring US Manufacturing Jobs” By Paul Carlson, CliftonLarsonAllen The flow of American manufacturing jobs overseas has peaked and is now reversing as U.S. companies find more than just economic reasons to bring them back home. Over the past few decades, the United States has lost as many as 4 million manufacturing jobs to foreign nations as companies look for ways to reduce costs. But the overseas manufacturing landscape is changing significantly. The emerging market wage difference that existed when the decision was made to offshore manufacturing is now dwindling, and in the past few years the costs of production have been increasing. This, in turn, has led to a growing number of companies reshoring — bringing manufacturing back to the United States. Catch the reshoring wave According to the 2016 Reshoring Report from the Reshoring Initiative — an organization working to return manufacturing jobs to the United States — more jobs are returning to the United States than are going abroad. “We publish this data annually to show companies that their peers are successfully reshoring and that they should reevaluate their sourcing and siting decisions,” says Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, in a May 15, 2017, statement. “With 3 to 4 million manufacturing jobs still offshore, as measured by our $500 billion annual trade deficit, there is potential for much more growth.” The report found that 77,000 new reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) manufacturing jobs were created in 2016. This is a 500 percent increase from the low of 2000 – 2003, when only 12,000 jobs were created on average annually. Overall, it is estimated that a net 25,000 new jobs were created in 2016. Jobs are returning from Asia Most of the jobs being reshored are from Asian countries, where 138,450 jobs have already been brought back to the United States. Of those jobs, most came from China. During the 2010 to 2016 timeframe, China accounted for approximately 60 percent of all manufacturing jobs created by reshoring and FDI. One of the biggest reasons for this trend is the shrinking wage benefit in China. Since 2001, the hourly Chinese manufacturing has risen by approximately 12 percent a year on...