Analysts at Fitch Ratings have written down some early reactions to news of Hankook Tire's $800 million plans for Clarksville. The new plant will likely put pressure on tire prices, which they say would appear to hurt Goodyear most. But more fundamentally, Fitch's researchers note, the move by Hankook illustrates how "up-and-coming manufacturers increasingly have the ability to pose a formidable challenge to dominant players" such as Bridgestone.
A Haslam administration deal to lure Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. to invest some $800 million in a manufacturing facility and create some 1,800 jobs in the Clarksville area comes with a $72 million incentive package, according to state officials.
State funds will come in the form of reimbursable grants for job training, site prep and some funding for a cultural center to help ease the transition for Korean nationals locating to the state, said ECD spokesman Clint Brewer. The deal also includes a clawback provision, he said.
The announcement comes less than a year after another large ECD development promising hundreds of jobs to the area fell through. In 2009, Hemlock Semiconductor agreed to build a $1.2 billion facility in the area, but earlier this year let go of some 300 employees and has yet to open the plant. The Hemlock deal came before the state began using clawback provisions to ensure that tax dollars spent to lure businesses here are refunded if the company fails to produce jobs.
Gov. Bill Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty will this morning travel to Clarksville and join forces with that city's mayor, Kim McMillan, and Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers to announce a "significant" jobs event that is likely to be a massive Hankook Tire manufacturing plant. The South Korean company last week said it was in last-minute talks with state officials for an area factory that is expected to have the capacity to crank out 10 million tires per year. The complex could employ up to 1,000 people.
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