Kumho: We aim to become a ‘major brand’ in Europe
Kumho Tire Europe has a vision to “grow into a major brand,” shares Namhwa Cho. Speaking with the CEO Edit, a show presented outside the UK by BBC StoryWorks, the Kumho Tire Europe president spoke about the tyre maker’s aspirations as well as its experiences during the pandemic and plans to capitalise on mobility megatrends.
Cho concedes that the Covid pandemic was a tough time that necessitated Kumho Tire, which has been majority-owned by China’s Qingdao Doublestar since mid-2018, to introduce an emergency management system focused on cost reduction and securing financial stability. “But we were more optimistic and we prepared a plan for recovery after the pandemic and continued investing in R&D,” he adds. “Fortunately, the demand rebounded quickly after the first wave and we could return to normal in the second half of last year. And we are trying to keep ahead of the trend by developing tyres optimised for electric vehicles, smart tyres and next-generation airless tyres.”
The tyre maker’s president for Europe says the company’s virtual development technology is aiding the development of Kumho electric vehicle tyres: “We are already benefitting by investing in virtual product development technology using computer design tools, simulation and artificial intelligence. Through digitally designing virtual tyres and testing tyre driving performance in cyberspace with virtual vehicles, we have been able to achieve innovative improvements in terms of shortening the development period and improving performance compared with the existing processes.”
Smart mobility partner
Kumho Tire’s plans for Europe are one component in a wider vision that the company announced last September. This mission statement, comments Cho, “lays out the company’s future direction and goals in order to secure new engines for growth over the next 60 years.” The Kumho Tire Europe president explains that the mission is to “provide customers with safety and convenient movement through new technologies and solutions” while the new vision is to be “your smart mobility partner.”
In regards to our region, Cho adds: “The vision of Kumho Tire Europe is also to grow into a major brand.” In order to achieve this, it needs to become a solution provider for its customers. “We must be able to deliver the best possible value to our customers. This is how we will grow together with our customers as a trusted partner. At the end of the day, good communication is the key to success.”
BBC StoryWorks’ interview with Namwha Cho is unfortunately not playable within the UK; readers located elsewhere can view it here.