Hankook to Produce Truck Tyres in Hungary
According to Hankook Tire Europe executive vice president and COO Jin-Wook Choi, the company holds the long-term goal of doubling its annual European production to more than 20 million units. In addition to this sizable increase in passenger car, 4×4 and van tyre production, the company has decided that in the long-term to add a truck tyre production line at its factory in the Hungarian town of Dunaújváros.
In an interview published by German news magazine WirtschaftsWoche, Choi commented that “the truck business is currently a growth segment in Europe and we want to vigorously develop this. We have set an ambitious goal: For 2010 and 2011 we are aiming for growth of around eight per cent. In the heavy truck sector we are having difficulties satisfying the high demand. Therefore we are planning the construction of a production line for truck tyres at our manufacturing base in Hungary.”
When the current phase of expansion at Dunaújváros is complete in the middle of 2011, the plant will produce more than ten million tyres per annum for the European market. A growing number of these tyres are being delivered to OEM customers, and Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Opel, Renault und Volkswagen are counted in Hankook’s original equipment portfolio. Choi also commented that “this year we will announce further commitments with German premium manufacturers.” The German news website Focus online speculates that Choi may be referring to BMW.
Hankook has confirmed the WirtschaftsWoche report, however a company representative told Tyres & Accessories that Hankook is looking at impelemting other projects before commencing truck tyre production in Hungary, including setting up facilities in China and Indonesia.