Nexen opens European Technical Center in Frankfurt/Hoechst
Nexen Tyre opened a technical centre in vicinity of Frankfurt, Germany in March. Nexen Europe Technical Center (NETC) in Frankfurt/Hoechst aims to be Europe and Korea’s interface for Nexen’s engineering development. At the private opening celebration, Min-Hyeon Han, head senior executive and vice president of Nexen Tyre’s Research and Development Center in Korea emphasized Europe’s central role in the brand’s global expansion. Nexen has set itself the objective of becoming one of the top ten tyre manufacturers worldwide by 2015.
The first employment contracts have already been signed. By the end of 2011, seven engineers are to be appointed within the tyre design and automotive departments. Over the next five years, the number of employees is set to rise to around twenty people. Some 500m2 of office space and 700m2 of warehouse space have been made available, together with a fully-equipped workshop for the preparation of tyre tests. The shelf system is designed to store up to 10,000 items. The NETC has been fully operational since mid-April this year.
Among the responsibilities ahead, the centre is said to be tasked with the modification of the tread compounds of certain tyre types, in order to comply with European markets’ needs and requirements; and carrying out Nexen tyre tests on vehicles for the OEM and aftermarket businesses.
The new European engineering headquarters work in close cooperation with Nexen’s Research and Development Center in Korea. The latter’s workstations are being deployed for testing such properties as rolling resistance, durability, abrasion and tyre characteristics on behalf of the NETC. Continuous exchange of information between the two centres takes place over the development of new compound concepts and new trends in raw materials for tyre production.
Dr Hendrik Stevens, a member of the management team since the beginning of the year, is responsible for compound material development and oversees Nexen’s participation in tyre tests where organized by European publications. His objective is to increase Nexen brand awareness in Europe. “Such improvement would also facilitate OEMs’ willingness to work with Nexen Tyre as a development partner,” said Dr Stevens.