Dunlop Ends DTM Supply, Hankook Expected to Take Over
Dunlop has announced the impending discontinuation of its exclusive tyre supply of the touring car masters’ series, the DTM. This decision to part ways with what is called Europe’s most popular touring car race series was jointly reached with series promoter ITR e.V following several months of negotiations; the official end of supply on December 31 will close the book on a relationship in place since the championship’s revival in 2000. The ITR says details of a replacement tyre and series partner will be announced ‘right after’ an agreement is officially signed. It is widely known that Hankook is to be this partner; the Korean manufacturer is said to have outbid Dunlop for the position and is expected to sign a contract up to 2013 as soon as the current race season is over.
“We analyse very precisely what our marketing investments yield and in doing so always keep an eye on cost and benefit,” commented Frank Hohmann, director of Marketing und Strategic Development at Goodyear Dunlop Tires Germany. “We also wish the DTM all the best with the new arrangement.” Thomas Betzler, vice-chairman of the ITR e.V. board, added: “Losing Dunlop, one of the long-term partners of the DTM fraternity, represents a true loss. But the fact that we part on good terms speaks for the partnership we had.”
Following the conclusion of its DTM commitments, says Dunlop, the company will have additional free capacity to realign its activities. It thus intends to further increase its involvement in numerous other national and international motorsport championships. Dunlop reports that expanded joint work with OEM partners who are engaged in motorsport lies at the core of this strategic alignment. “Dunlop is and remains one of the largest motorsport tyre brands in Europe,” Hohmann added. “Hardly any other brand is so widely placed as Dunlop and has a brand image so closely connected with motorsport.”
The brand’s new alignment will be used to build up activities that will further assist both the marketing of Dunlop products and the development of new technologies, as well as positively address an area increasingly prevalent in motorsport, that of sustainability. This is particularly the case for endurance racing, and Dunlop says it intends to more clearly demonstrate that technological advances gained through competition can be utilised in the development of mass market tyres and can thus further increase the brand’s strong position. In the 2011 the manufacturer will supply tyres for numerous vehicles competing in endurance races at Le Mans and the Nürburgring.