Not only was Hankook Tire present at Reifen 2016 with products from its flagship Hankook brand, including its new Ventus Prime³ comfort tyre and innovations such as Sealguard and sound absorbing foam, the South Korean manufacturer also presented its second brand, Laufenn, which is now being introduced into European markets.
Hankook Tire describes the new brand as “symbolic and tangible proof” of the company’s “vision for growth in the global automotive market.” Following its initial unveiling in 2014, Laufenn products were launched the following year in 19 countries, including markets in North America, Latin America, China, the Middle East and South Asia, and by 2016 the number of countries where Laufenn tyres are available had risen to 47. Hankook Tire reports that under its strategic plan, it aims to “achieve a successful globalisation” of Laufenn, with the market base growing to 70 countries by the end of this year.
The start of European sales in spring is also expected to significantly boost turnover; the company projects a 400 per cent year-on-year turnover growth in 2016, an increase that reflects both the brand’s launch in our region and rising market acceptance in the US and China.
“Laufenn has already become a global brand with an accelerated growth within the global automotive market,” comments Ho-Youl Pae, head of Hankook Tire Europe. “Laufenn continues to reach our customers by offering the most sensible and reliable value to meet the diverse lifestyle needs with technology and driving experience. It will grow as a sustainable brand of our company with our strategic efforts to meet the diverse needs of consumers in this market. We will continue to invest in the brand and make Laufenn a market player providing the most practical values that consumers seek.”
The customers Hankook Tire aims to reach through the Laufenn brand are “smart and price-conscious consumers.” The initial Laufenn range in the European and CIS markets consists of five product line-ups: The S FIT EQ summer passenger car range, which is available in 15 to 19-inch dimensions for the performance segment; the G FIT EQ summer passenger car touring tyre, which is available in 13 to 17-inch sizes; the X FIT VAN summer SUV and van tyre range, which is produced in 14 to 16-inch sizes; the i FIT studdless passenger car and SUV winter tyre line for Western and Central European markets, which is available in 13 to 18-inch dimensions; and the studdable i FIT ICE winter car and SUV range, which comes in 13 to 18-inch sizes for the Scandinavian and CIS markets.
The above line-up was specifically developed for European market needs, and Hankook’s European Technical Centre (ETC) in Hannover, Germany played a vital role in its development. Many fitments are manufactured at Hankook Tire’s production facility in Hungary.