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Hankook Tire Company bringing 1,800 new jobs to Clarksville

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CLARKSVILLE, TN -- It is being called a watershed moment for the state of Tennessee. 1,800 new jobs are coming to Clarksville. The Hankook Tire Company, which is a Korean company, will spend $800 million to build its new factory.


A transformation will soon occur on empty land at the Clarksville Corporate Business Park. Hankook Tire is building its first U.S. factory on 469 acres. "It means 1,800 new jobs for Clarksville-Montgomery County," says Governor Bill Haslam.


It is the largest jobs announcement since Governor Haslam took office. The significance is underscored by the state's economic development commissioner. "It is going to be a shot heard round the world for this company and for the entire industry," says TN ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty.


Hankook's decision to make tires in Clarksville is the latest success in Tennessee's surging auto industry. The state has 910 auto-related companies, which employ more than 113,000 people. That is equal to the population of Murfreesboro.


A recent report from the Brookings Institution revealed the state's auto industry is more competitive than ever. It accounts for 3.3% of all North American vehicle manufacturing. Tennessee has the largest number of auto employees in the South. The auto industry has generated more than 12% of all new new jobs in Tennessee since the recession.


Hankook's decision to come to Clarksville was influenced by the auto industry's presence. "The fact that the world's major automakers have their plants here is a testimony to this.  This is also a great opportunity for Hankook Tire," says Hankook Tire CEO Seung Hwa Suh.


Hankook won't breakground on the new plant until next year, and tires won't roll off the assembly line until 2016. Tennessee leaders are happy to wait, and hope more companies will take notice.


Hankook Tire Co. will receive some significant incentives from the state.  They'll be eligible for about $72 million for things like training and infrastructure. Montgomery County will also provide $50 million in tax incentives.


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