Hankook is supporting Volkswagen’s 20,000km tour of Germany to test the national fast-loading network. Starting in Germany winter sports town Oberstdorf, the VW ID.3 will visit more than 600 VW dealers and charging stations on the 65-day ID.3 Germany Tour, running on Hankook’s new Winter i*cept evo 3 UHP winter tyres. The tour concludes on the northern island of Sylt. The campaign vehicle fits 215/55 R18 99V XL tyres, and will be driven by Rainer Zietlow from CHALLENGE4 agency, a driver with significant experience in long-distance rides and holder of world records on all continents. He is accompanied by co-driver Dominic Brüner. VW’s tour includes visits to Hankook’s European headquarters in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main and to the company’s European research and development centre in Hanover.
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The new Porsche Taycan, the manufacturer’s first all-electric sports car, will roll of production lines on specially developed Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev electric vehicle tyres. Supplied in size 225/55R19 XL 103Y on the front axle and 275/45R19 XL 108Y on the rear axle the tyre will be marked “NF0” on the sidewall. Hankook says the Ventus S1 evo 3 ev includes technical refinements designed to optimise the performance of electric sports cars. The new deal extends Hankook’s relationship with Porsche, and the tyre manufacturer's increasing interest in electric vehicles. The Korean tyre manufacturer most recently announced it is supplying the Porsche Cayenne with the SUV version of the Ventus S1 evo 3. It is also tyre partner to Kyburz’s eRod roadster. Hankook was also recently unveiled as the new tyre supplier for premier electric motorsport series Formula E.
It boasts ingredients that include vegetable oil and resin extracted from conifer pines, and it may be coming to a tyre shop near you in 2019 – Hankook Tire has introduced its second generation of electric vehicle tyre, the Hankook Kinergy AS EV.
The Porsche Cayenne is possibly not the first vehicle that springs to mind when pondering environmentally friendly transport. Indeed, it is rumoured that some of the more militant green warriors would rather be harpooned by whalers than ensconce themselves within the German off-roader’s two-plus tonne bulk. But rip out the Cayenne’s sizeable petrol or diesel engine and replace it with an electrically driven system and you have another, more ocean friendly kettle of fish – the RUF Stormster. The German Porsche modifier has released a zero emission version of the SUV powered by a Siemens electric drive. Hankook’s UHP Icebear W300A SUV winter tyre in size 295/30 R 22 has been chosen as standard fitment.
In April, Goodyear shared that the new Audi e-tron GT is available factory-fitted with a 21-inch version of its Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5. Hankook Tire reports it is also supplying original equipment tyres to Audi’s electric performance saloon; the Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev will be fitted to the e-tron GT in size 225/55R19 XL 103Y on the front axle and 275/45R19 XL 108Y on the rear.
Hankook will act as main sponsor of the 2021 BBC Top Gear Global Electric Vehicle Awards, which recognise the best EVs across 12 different award categories, including EV of the Year, Best Hatchback, SUV, Estate, and Hypercar. This arrangement builds upon other EV-related engagements, such as Hankook Tire’s upcoming tyre supply to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the world’s first and only all-electric street racing Formula series.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has begun supplying the Dunlop Enasave EC300+ to Lexus for certain versions of its first all-electric model, the UX300e. Meanwhile, Hankook Tire shares that it will equip the 2021 Honda Vezel hybrid for the Japanese market with its Kinergy Eco² tyre ex works.
The Hankook Smart Touring AL22 is specifically designed for bus and coach applications, and Hankook Tire & Technology is selling the tyre in all major global markets. After its launch in Europe, North America and the Middle East, Hankook is now introducing the Smart Touring AL22 in Asia.
Hankook’s 2021 Q1 financial results show consolidated global sales rising 12.6 per cent YoY to KRW 1.61 trillion (EUR 1.203 million) and an operating profit of KRW 186 billion (EUR 138 million); an increase of 75.5 per cent YoY. As the global market recovers from the impact of the pandemic, Hankook’s business has also been steadily recovering since the second half of 2020. The company is seeing sales stabilise in several major markets that include Europe, North America, and China, particularly in the high-inch tyre sector (tyres with diameters 18 inches or higher.) Global sales of high-inch tyres accounted for 38 per cent of total tyre sales, which is up 4 percentage points compared to the same period last year.
Hankook is celebrating 80 years in business in 2021. The tyre manufacturer is now firmly within the global top tier, with a strategy to consolidate its position further by increasing sales of larger, UHP tyres in major regions, supplying original equipment tyres for premium cars, and developing its electric vehicle market. In 2020, Hankook tyres performed well in independent tyre tests and expanded its original equipment business with premium car-makers. These included Porsche's first high-performance electric sports car, Taycan, and Audi’s top models RS6, RS7 as well as Audi RS Q8. Overall, Hankook announced in its full year report for 2020 that it is targeting global sales of 7 trillion South Korean won (£4.6 billion) in 2021.
As reported earlier this month, Hankook Tire has released its latest winter products for motorists and Western and Central Europe. And the new tyre line is off to a promising start, with Auto Bild awarding the new tyre its top ‘exemplary’ rating in its winter 2020 comparative evaluation.
Hankook will supply tyres to Formula E as the series’ third generation tyre partner. The FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) confirmed Hankook after a tender process and FIA World Motor Sport Council approval. The world championship, which stages races in metropolitan areas around the globe, will run on “sustainably produced, particularly long-lasting and energy-saving Hankook tyres,” the manufacturer says. Tyres for Formula E have previously been supplied by Michelin, which was the series' inaugural tyre partner.
Hankook Tire has signed a partnership agreement with the Swiss company Kyburz. The first project under this agreement will be to fit Kyburz’s eRod roadster with ultra-high-performance tyres from the Ventus line. The road-legal electric sports car will be equipped with the Ventus V12 evo 2 in size 195/50R15 V. Hankook also becomes the recommended replacement tyre brand for the eRod.
Hankook presented selections from its truck and bus tyre range at the Transport Compleet 2019 fair (3-5 September, Gorinchem, Netherlands), including the SmartFlex for medium-haul and regional transport and the SmartWork for on and off-road use. As a tyre supplier for MAN, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Scania and Schmitz-Cargobull, Hankook said its participation in a fair alongside such names underlines its established position in the European commercial vehicle market.
In reporting its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2019, Hankook Tire notes that the six months to 30 June were punctuated by uncertainty within the global tyre market. Challenges faced by many tyre makers include declining vehicle sales, anti-dumping duties and uncertainty caused by US-China trade tensions. Hankook specifically battled high fixed costs during a low demand cycle, a relatively high dependency on China for both production and sales, and issues with stabilisation at its 2017-opened plant in the USA.