Hankook Makes Oberbeck European Technical Centre Development Head
Hankook has announced the promotion of Dr Claus Oberbeck to head of development at the company’s European Technical Centre. Oberbeck has a strong history of technical research and development in ultra-high performance tyres having worked most recently as the head of an international project team developing new concepts and putting those concepts into practice in series production. His appointment provides further evidence of the company’s continued strengthening of its UHP tyre position, with an engineering team now numbering over 40 members.
Oberbeck, who has a doctorate in mechanical engineering, joined the team headed by ETC director Stefan Fischer at Hankook’s facility in Langenhagen, near Hannover, Germany at the beginning of the year. As Team Manager in Development, the 39 year-old Oberbeck will reportedly be in charge of directing the development activities of the ETC, including the areas of original equipment and compound development as well as EU regulations.
“I am happy that we successfully filled this position, which is so important to our future plans,” states Fischer. “By bringing in Dr Oberbeck, we have gained tangible, highly qualified support for the advanced development projects we are working on today and those that are still ahead of us.”
Hankook states that the European research and development centre has “played a major role in the company’s European success story”. The engineering team develops customised tyre solutions for the European market, which can then be produced at the European production site in Hungary. At the end of 2009, Hankook decided to expand its production capacity in Hungary to accommodate an annual volume of ten million tyres by 2011.
Jin-Wook Choi, executive vice president and European head of Hankook states: “Thanks to our in-house research and production operations in Europe, we are already able to deliver on customer requests more quickly and efficiently than many of our competitors. Hankook Tire is a technology-driven company. The top-level qualifications of our tyre engineers and developers have formed the core of our business and help ensure that our European customers will be able to continue to benefit from the high quality of our products into the future.”
The Korean company says it experienced “steady growth in brand value on the European market in 2009”. The company achieved record sales figures and has seen strong growth in demand on the European market too. It also says it saw “robust growth in the prestigious OEM business,” including contracts with Audi and Volkswagen.
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