Mark Eatwell has succeeded Chris Baxter as Technical Services Manager at Hankook Tyre UK. Baxter retired on 31 January, bringing a 43-year career within the tyre industry to a close. The company has also appointed Mark Hutchinson its PCR Regional Sales Manager for the Midlands.
Hankook reports that it “is committed to investing in sustainability across every aspect of a tyre’s life from sourcing sustainable raw materials to R&D focus on materials, product performance and new product developments”. When you add in the production Alphatread-branded retreaded tyres, you can see how Hankook has attained a number of sustainability achievements.
Hankook’s comprehensive range of summer, all-season and winter car tyres has received excellent reviews from testers and tyre review platforms over the past year. This acclaim extends to the iON tyre family specially developed to meet the demanding requirements of electric vehicles. The core summer collection comprises Ventus S1 evo Z, Ventus S1 evo 3, Ventus S1 evo 3 SUV, Ventus Prime 4, Kinergy ECO 2, iON evo and iON ST AS both for cars and SUVs. The all-season range includes, the Kinergy 4S2, Kinergy 4S2 X for SUV’s and the iON FlexClimate for cars and SUVs. The core winter collection comprises the Winter i*cept evo 3, Winter i*cept evo 3 X, Winter i*cept RS 3 and the iON i*cept for cars and SUVs.
Hankook Tire America Corp. has announced two changes to its management team. Kyuwang (Ken) Cho is the business’s new Vice President of U.S. PC/LT Sales, with overall responsibility for the market. K.C. Jensen takes on the role of Vice President of PC/LT Sales, focusing on Hankook Tire America’s West region as well as other strategic initiatives.
Hankook enters its second season supporting Formula E, and the tenth of the all-electric single-seater series, with the season opener at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City on 12-13 January. The grid of 22 drivers will all compete using the Hankook iON Race tyre. Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook director motorsport, promised the tyre supplier was prepared for faster lap times as teams push the iON Race harder in its second season.
Christmas is a time of togetherness with kinsfolk, but not if you’re a member of Hankook’s Cho family. On December 25, efforts by private equity firm MBK Partners – in collaboration with three Cho siblings – to acquire a controlling stake in Hankook & Company failed after MBK’s tender offer secured insufficient subscriptions.
MBK Partners, a private equity firm in Asia, has increased its offer to buy a controlling stake in Hankook & Company, the parent company of Hankook Tire & Technology Ltd. On 17 December, MBK Partners raised its offer to acquire a minimum of 20.35 per cent and a maximum of 27.32 per cent of Hankook & Company by 20 per cent. The revised price now stands at 24,000 won ($18.40) per share, up from the initial offer of 20,000 won. The price is 51.4 per cent higher than the firm’s closing price of 15,850 won on Friday.
Elaborating upon the FIA announcement that Bridgestone will take over from Hankook as the sole tyre supplier of the Formula E World Championship from the 2026-2027 season, Bridgestone emphasises that the all-electric race series will become “a cornerstone of the company’s sustainable global motorsports strategy.” Furthermore, it intends to use supply arrangements such as this to “continue to develop and refine sustainable technology” and to “accelerate innovation” that delivers value throughout the entire tyre lifecycle.
Bridgestone will return to a FIA World Championship for the first time in a decade-and-a-half when it begins delivering tyres to Formula E in 2026/27. The FIA has announced that Bridgestone will serve as tyre supplier to its Gen4 cars, which will debut in Season 13 of the championship. The Japanese tyre maker will follow on from Hankook, which began supplying Formula E in 2023 after accepting the baton from Michelin.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has convened for its final meeting of 2023, and during this meeting the WMSC approved the WRC Commission’s recommendation to appoint Hankook as the official tyre partner and supplier to the FIA World Rally Championship. Hankook will commence in this role in 2025, initially for three years.
Hankook Tire & Technology Co. is opening a local corporation in order to sell tyres in Taiwan. According to the The Korea Economic Daily, Xu Shengqi, a Taiwanese executive with over 20 years of Hankook experience, at the helm. The newspaper also reported that Hankook “is also considering launching a local corporation in Romania to enhance its European presence”.
The key performance characteristics of Hankook’s AH51 and DH51 truck tyres are recording double-digit improvements across the board versus their predecessors, the manufacturer states. Advancements in computer processing power, AI, materials science and 3D printed mould technology have helped Hankook produce truck tyres with a stepped change in performance throughout the life of the tyre. The manufacturer says its investment in these combined technologies has resulted in a cooler running tread, a more rigid tread block and “regenerating” tread features – a tread pattern that evolves as it wears – resulting in significant fuel savings, damage resistance, wet grip and higher mileage for premium fleet partners.
With an investment of KRW 758.95 billion (£466.12 million), Hankook Tire & Technology will add truck and bus radial production to its site in Rácalmás, Hungary. The company expects the new production line to be completed by 2027, with an initial capacity to produce around 800,000 tyres annually. The expansion will create approximately 450 new jobs.
Hankook has achieved several top results in the latest round of independent tyre tests of winter and all-season tyres. Hankook’s Winter i*cept and Kinergy 4S tyre lines gained several podium finishes in tests by such leading independent testers as ADAC, Auto Bild and Auto Express, scoring particularly highly in the dry and wet as well as in snow.
At the end of September, the list of Asia’s most influential brands of 2023 was published at the “Asia Brand Summit” in Hong Kong. A total of 500 brands from 20 countries and regions, were honoured at the 18th World Brand Lab summit themed “The Impact of New Technologies on Brand Transformation and Consumer Behavior.” Seven of them were tyre brands and all seven were ranked amongst the top 350 of the 500 honoured brands.