Kumho opens new R&D headquarters
On 2 September, Kumho Tire opened a new research and development centre near the South Korean capital Seoul. Located in Yongin City and built over the course of five years, the centre covers a 34,873 square metre land area with a total floorspace of 22,823 square metres. This space is shared by a research building and testing facility. Approximately 600 researchers from Korea and abroad will be employed at the site and work with supercomputers, physical testing equipment, chemical and instrumental analysis equipment, performance research equipment and more to develop new products.
In addition, the centre will serve as the central control tower of Kumho’s global R&D network, which is made up of the Kumho Tire American Technical Center in Akron, US (KATC), the Kumho Tire Europe Technical Centre in Frankfurt, Germany (KETC), the Kumho Tire China Technical Centre in Tianjin, China (KCTC), and the Kumho Tire Performance Center (KPC) in Gwangju, Korea. The newly-completed centre will serve as the main R&D centre and as such will take charge of all basic research and product development. The existing Gwangju facility has been transformed into a performance centre for the evaluation and quality monitoring of finished products, and will be permanently staffed by technical support personnel in charge of these quality assuring evaluations and facility operations.
The Yongin city area is also home to the technology research institutes of Hyundai KIA Motors, Renault Samsung, and Hyundai Mobis, amongst others. The area is also an automotive/parts industry cluster with support infrastructure for the Korean automotive, parts, and aftermarket industries.
“The most sure way of becoming a global tyre company is to secure world-class technical prowess,” stated Kumho Tire CEO Kim Chang-Kyu in relation to the centre’s opening. He added that Kumho will “continue to strive to improve its competitive power with expansion of overseas factories and increasing OE supplies to overseas automobile makers, with the completion of the new R&D centre.”