The public launch of the new Hankook iON race will take place at the Essen Motor Show early next month, ahead of the tyre’s competitive debut at the Mexico City E-Prix on 14 January 2023. Hankook Tire is an exclusive technical partner and tyre supplier to Formula E and has developed a tyre specifically for the series that contains around 30 per cent sustainable materials.
Last week, a subsidiary of tyre maker Hankook & Company Group (formerly Hankook Tire Group) became the first Korean prototype company to be listed on the KOSDAQ technology index. Model Solution joined the index with a final issue price of KRW 27,000 (£16.71), which was at the upper end of the announced price range.
Hankook Tire correctly observes that a cross-industry collaboration between a tyre company and fashion brand “piques curiosity” as these businesses “seem to have less or no connection at all.” But a lack of relatedness hasn’t stopped such an unlikely pairing from becoming reality: Hankook is launching apparel in collaboration with South Korean fashion company Handsome.
The iON name is one we’ve recently become acquainted with on Hankook car tyres. With the launch of the iON Evo and iON winter, Hankook Tire has a range of summer and winter tyres specifically aimed at electric vehicles. The South Korean tyre maker is now launching a series of iON truck and bus tyres in its domestic market, and this is worth noting as Hankook says some of these products are being developed with European markets in mind.
The final three races of this year’s W Series season have been cancelled due to financial reasons, shares organiser W Series Limited. This means the races in the Hankook Tire sponsored, all-female championship that were scheduled to take place at Circuit of The Americas, USA on 21 and 22 October and the double-header at Autódromo Hermanos, Mexico on 28 to 30 October will not go ahead.
With the promise of shorter braking distances on snow-covered surfaces and improved handling on icy and wet roads, Hankook Tire has introduced the Hankook Winter i*cept RS3. It says this “enhanced successor to the multiple award-winning Winter i*cept RS2” uses the latest technologies to surpass its predecessor and “offer even greater levels of safety in everyday life.”
Hankook Tire is set to invest US$1.6 billion in the expansion of its Clarksville, Tennessee tyre factory. The investment includes the previously announced Phase 2 expansion, which will increase Hankook’s capacity to produce passenger car and light truck (PC/LT) tyres twofold as well as a Phase 3 expansion, which will enable the company to begin producing truck bus and radial (TBR) tyres in the United States. The company estimates that the addition of the Phase 3 expansion project will create an additional 400 jobs in the Clarksville region, for a total of 1,200 new positions.
During the second quarter of 2022, Hankook Tire grew its sales by 12.9 per cent year-on-year to KRW 2,039.9 billion (£1.3 billion). Operating profit, squeezed by world events, rising raw material costs and inflation, shrank 6.3 per cent year-on-year to KRW 175.2 billion (£109.9 million). This result nonetheless represented a 39.0 per cent increase compared with the operating profit of KRW 126.0 billion (£79.0 million) achieved in Q1 2022. Hankook attributes this quarter-on-quarter improvement to a growing share of sales attributable to high-value-added products as well as effective pricing strategies.
Hankook Tire has expanded the portfolio of original equipment products it supplies to electric vehicles with tyres for two new Audi models, the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron. These compact SUVs will leave the factory on Hankook Ventus S1 evo 3 ev tyres. Depending on model and equipment level, Audi will fit the Hankook tyre in 19- to 21-inch dimensions.
First presented at the SEMA show in Las Vegas back in 2014 and subsequently launched in Europe and dozens of other markets, Laufenn is Hankook Tire’s second brand. After introducing Laufenn to the world, Hankook is now bringing the brand home and offering it in South Korea for the first time. By debuting Laufenn locally, the tyre maker aims to “further accelerate” its domestic market penetration with a multi-brand strategy that satisfies “the diverse tastes of consumers.”
For the past ten years, Hankook Tire has incorporated tailored analysis and simulation software into its tyre development programme. This software is set to gain a performance boost through a new partnership with high performance computing (HPC) cloud simulation platform Rescale.
Hankook Tire has marketed its Alphatread range of mould cure or ‘hot’ retreaded tyres for almost a decade now, and today satisfies demand for these products from plants in the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. The last of these is the former Reifen Müller facility in Hammelburg, some 60 miles east of Frankfurt am Main. Hankook recently expanded its Alphatread operation at this site by setting up a separate mould cure retreading operation, significantly increasing capacity.
An opening ceremony took place on 25 May for the largest proving ground in Asia, Hankook Technoring. Hankook Tire & Technology says the facility in Taean, South Korea will serve as a state-of-the-art research and development centre for its “most advanced products to come.”
Having already given its sites for South Korea and North America the treatment, Hankook Tire is continuing the renewal of its official websites in a further 26 countries. It says the new sites aim to “strengthen the platform’s function as a sales hub” and will “provide users with a more user-friendly, interactive digital experience.”