Volkswagen 1st European OEM Supplied by Hankook Hungary
Volkswagen has become the recipient of Hankook’s first-ever OE delivery to a European vehicle manufacturer from its Dunaujvaros factory. The supply of Hungarian produced tyres to Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge in Hanover, Germany is taking place under an agreement to fit the Hankook product as original equipment on Volkswagen’s Transporter, Caravelle, Multivan and California van models.
Europe’s largest automobile manufacturer is kitting out the fifth generation of its “T5” van family with the size 215/65 R16C version of Hankook’s new Radial RA 28. Hankook describes the tyre to be fitted as a “specially balanced tyre perfectly suited to the variety of uses of such vehicles”, and notes it is exclusively supplied to Volkswagen in Germany.
Hankook adds that the Radial RA 28 not only brings kudos to Hankook’s production in Europe – hats should be doffed for the European engineers at the company’s Europe Technical Center (ETC) in Germany, who were mainly responsible for engineering the tyre and tailoring it to Volkswagen’s needs. More than forty engineers and technicians are located at the ETC, which designs tyres specifically for the European market.
The extension of the cooperation with Volkswagen as Hankook’s key European original equipment customer marks another milestone on the course for growth of the world’s seventh largest tyre manufacturer. “We are happy that Volkswagen has decided to equip its utility vehicles with our tyres and are especially proud that we are already able to supply the tyres from our recently opened European factory”, said Jin-Wook Choi, Hankook Tire executive vice-president and COO in Europe. “We have been a reliable partner and supplier of high-quality tyres to Volkswagen for many years. We wish to build on this relationship of trust and look forward to equipping many other Volkswagen models in the future.”
The T5 is the ninth Volkswagen model factory-equipped with Hankook tyres: In addition to the van range, the Caddy, Caddy Maxi, Polo, Golf VI and Tiguan models in Europe and the Jetta, Jetta SportWagen and New Beetle models produced in Mexico for the North American market roll off the assembly line on Hankook rubber. Before tyre production for the T5 in the Dunaujvaros factory commenced, the plant was subjected to a severe audit by VW auditors. The requirements made by the automobile manufacturer on its suppliers’ production facilities go beyond the ISO standards customary in the industry (the Dunaujvaros plant was certified to ISO/TS 16949:2002 and EN ISO 14001:2004 in January 2009), Hankook comments. According to the South Korean manufacturer, the auditors’ conclusion was that the environmental and quality management systems fully comply with the strict requirements of the Volkswagen group.
Hankook’s Dunaujvaros tyre factory, which started operation in 2007, today employs more than 1,200 workers and produces around 15,000 tyres a day. The production portfolio at the Hungarian plant includes more than 300 different dimensions for passenger cars, SUVs, vans and light trucks.