PRAGUE -- A deal to attract South Korea's Hankook Tire to Slovakia collapsed after a rival tiremaker voiced objections.
Hankook Tire had planned to build a E500 million plant in Slovakia. But the company is now considering locations in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic after the Slovak government slashed a promised incentives package.
The U-turn came after Slovakia's only tiremaker, Matador Puchov, protested the aid package.
"We are still negotiating with Slovakia, so we have not eliminated the country completely," said a Hankook official in Seoul. "In the meantime, we have re-opened negotiations with other countries."
The Slovak cabinet originally promised Hankook financial aid amounting to 21 percent of its planned investment. After protests from Matador and Slovakian finance officials, the government reduced that figure to 6 percent.
In May, Hankook chose Slovakia over Poland and Hungary as the site for its first European factory. It planned to build a plant in Levice, 130km east of Bratislava.
-- Norman Thorpe contributed