Korean OEMs switching to European tyre brands
Sales of imported tyres in Korea increased by more than 40 per cent in the January to April period when compared with 2016 figures, according to the Korea Tire Manufacturers Association (KOTMA).
If this pace continues, imported tyres will set a record high this year. According to KOTMA, this is largely due to Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors introducing imported tyres on their models, media said.
Total tyre imports for the four-month period, according to the KOTMA, stood at 252.22 billion won, up 42 per cent, or 74.78 billion won from 177.48 billion won during the same period last year.
Imported tyres during 2016 accounted for 26.28 per cent of the total for the year. In comparison, the 2017 figure is expected to exceed 912.32 billion won, which is almost double the 2013 value.
In 2016 Hyundai and Kia Motors began using more imported tyres on their new cars. Reports suggest that the change began in 2014 after Hyundai Motor recalled its Genesis model due to Hankook Tires that exhibited an abnormal vibration and noise. As a result, the carmaker switched to tyres from Continental and Michelin for the Genesis EQ900, which was released at the end of 2015.