Hankook’s European factory expands OE manufacturing with KIA
Hankook Tire’s European factory has expanded its original equipment supply to the European market with the manufacture of the Optimo K415 to be fitted to the KIA Sportage, the car maker’s most popular family SUV, now taking place at the Hungarian site. Hankook says its investments in the factory show its effort “to meet the requirements of leading car makers aiming to increase the OE tyre production rate from the current 10 per cent to 20-25 per cent of the total production during the upcoming years.” Besides serving KIA, the Hungarian production site has supplied OE products to the European operations of Volkswagen since 2009 and Hyundai since 2008.
The OE tyres for the Sportage are now delivered from Hungary directly to KIA’s European manufacturing plant in Zilina, Slovakia. As part of its longstanding partnership with KIA, Hankook already supplies various tyres to the car manufacturer’s Slovakian plant from its Korean facilities. Now, thanks to the new tyre production site in Rácalmás, approximately 60km south of Budapest, the delivery time has been shortened from the previous 45 days to a maximum of 48 hours.
KIA equips its new Sportage model with the Hankook Optimo K415 in the size 225/60R17H. Hankook says the Sportage has “achieved remarkable success in the European market thanks to its sleek, stylish and sporty look and design as well as plenty of premium and integral safety features.” In addition to KIA, the Optimo K415 is also supplied for Hyundai’s Tucson, another compact SUV.
“High quality and safety standards, combined with stylish advanced and functional design are core values both for the KIA Sportage and Hankook tyres. Following a long history as a global tyre supplier to KIA, we are pleased that from now on we can support KIA with Hankook’s superiority and cutting-edge tyre technology from our state-of-the-art Hungarian production facility,” says Sang II Lee, managing director of Hankook Tire Hungary.
Hankook’s European plant is one of the most modern tyre manufacturing facilities worldwide. It started operations in 2007 and was certified according to ISO/TS 16949:2002 already in 2009.