Kumho Tires Starts Work on Central R&D Centre
Kumho Tires makes no secret of its ambition to stand amongst the world’s top five tyre companies by 2015, and one channel the company says it will use to achieve this is to strengthen the Kumho R&D network. One key part of the South Korean manufacturer’s strengthening programme is the planned Kumho central R&D centre in Yong-in, Gyeonggi Province, and on May 15 an official ceremony was held to mark the start of construction work at the site. Numerous company executives and employees, including CEO Sae-Chul Oh, attended the ceremony.
The anticipated completion date for the central R&D centre is the latter half of next year. A sum of 70 billion KRW will be invested into the project, which will cover a floor space of 24,092 square metres and a land area of 34,842 square metres. The facility is planned to be, says Kumho, one of the world’s top three central R&D centres.
In particular, this central R&D centre will serve as a global R&D hub for Kumho Tires and manage the company’s other technology research centres in South Korea and abroad, including the existing Gwangju R&D centre; Kumho America Technical Center (KATC) located in Akron, Ohio; Kumho European Technical Center (KETC) based in Birmingham, UK; and Kumho China Technical Center (KCTC) located in Tianjin, China.
To this end, Kumho says that the central R&D centre will be equipped not only with equipment for chemical and physical testing needed for research and development of tyres, but also state-of-the-art equipment for testing tyre performance, including noise and oscillation measurement equipment.
Through the establishment of this central R&D centre, Kumho Tires states it plans to take the lead in tyre-related technologies by developing innovative products, securing a competitive edge, and developing environmentally friendly products. To reach this goal, the company will double its number of R&D personnel, from 600 to about 1,200 at home and abroad by 2015, and will focus its efforts on developing its R&D capacity based on the technologies it has accumulated over the last half century.
Sae-Chul Oh, CEO of Kumho Tires stated, “The Yong-in central R&D centre will be developed as a strategic stronghold of the company in the R&D field at home and abroad, and will be equipped with facilities and personnel that will make it one of the world’s top three tyre research facilities. Beyond simply being the top tyre-related R&D centre in Korea, we expect it to become a mecca representing tyre technologies around the world.”
The Yong-in central R&D centre will, adds Kumho, be built to green building specifications, as its construction will consider all environmental impacts. It will be designed to save energy, emit less pollution, and to harmonise with and preserve the surrounding environment.