Starting yesterday, Han-Jun Kim is president and chief executive officer of Hankook Tire Europe. He succeeds Ho-Youl Pae; having served in this capacity since 2014, Pae now returns to South Korea to take over a new role at the company’s global headquarters.
In addition to presenting a new summer product and design ideas for future mobility concepts, Hankook Tire says its focus at the IAA motor show next month will be on “innovations in premium original fitment tyres and the current winter tyre line-up.”
With a decisive snip, more than a year’s work was officially complete. Four representatives from Hankook Tire’s global and European operations, suitably rugged up for the occasion, were on hand to open a facility that extends the tyre maker’s aim of self-contained development and manufacture of tyres for European markets. The inauguration of the ‘Technotrac’ facility gives Hankook Tire a permanent home alongside one of the world’s best-known winter test grounds, something that Ho-Youl Pae is very proud of.
In addition to unveiling several new products, Hankook Tire’s big news from the IAA Commercial Vehicles show is its approval by Scania as an original equipment tyre supplier. As of November, Hankook Tire will supply 18 tyre dimensions to all Scania truck and bus models produced in Europe. According to Stefan Brückner, Hankook OE account manager Europe, 11 of these 22.5 inch dimensions will be for the important long haul segment, and the other seven for regional haul applications.
Hankook Tire extends its sympathies to the family of Peter Großklaus following his sudden and unexpected death on 5 August. Großklaus served as director of Hankook’s original equipment passenger car tyre business in Europe and had worked for the tyre maker since 2006.
Not only was Hankook Tire present at Reifen 2016 with products from its flagship Hankook brand, including its new Ventus Prime³ comfort tyre and innovations such as Sealguard and sound absorbing foam, the South Korean manufacturer also presented its second brand, Laufenn, which is now being introduced into European markets.
The existing partnership between Hankook Tire and German touring car championship DTM has been extended for a further three years. The tyre maker signed a new contract with DTM promoter ITR e.V. last Friday following the press conference held for the opening of the current season; under the terms of this contract, Hankook will continue to deliver its Ventus Race DTM tyres to Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz until the end of the 2019 season.
Hankook will supply runflat versions of its ultra-high performance and winter car tyres to BMW for original fitment on its new generation 7 Series. The luxury car will roll on the Ventus S1 evo2 in mixed 245/50R18 Y *RSC (Runflat Safety Component) (front) and 275/40 R19 Y*RSC (rear) sizes in summer, and the i*cept evo in size 245/50R 18 H *RSC for winter use. Both tyres were developed in the Hankook’s German-based European R&D Centre, and are supplied to BMW directly from Hankook’s European high-end factory in Hungary.
Ivalo is the destination of choice for many tyre makers when it comes to testing winter and cold weather products, and Hankook Tire has announced plans to establish its own European winter tyre testing facility near the Finnish village. The company recently signed a contract to build this together with Test World Oy.
The Frankfurt motor show has been a hotbed of announcement activity for Hankook Tire. In addition to an IAA launch of its Laufenn brand in Europe, news of original equipment tyre supply for the latest generation Audi A4 and the Volkswagen Touran, and the release of a lower rolling resistance Ventus S1 evo² and its fitment on the Mercedes-Benz C350e plug-in hybrid, the tyre maker has discussed its strategic partnership with shoe outsole company Vibram.
It appears that Hankook Tire has introduced a low rolling resistance version of its flagship Ventus S1 evo² tyre. A statement released following the company’s Frankfurt motor show press conference refers to the addition of “very low rolling resistance versions in several sizes” and states that two of these dimensions have been selected as original equipment tyres for the Mercedes-Benz C350e plug-in hybrid.
More Hankook Tire news, again from the IAA in Frankfurt. The tyre maker reports that its first self-sealing tyre, the newly-developed Ventus Prime² SEALGUARD, will be supplied to Volkswagen as an original equipment tyre. The first VW to be shipped with the self-sealing tyre is the Touran, which will wear the Ventus Prime² SEALGUARD in size 215/55R17.
The number of Audi models delivered with factory-fitted Hankook tyres is set to increase once the new generation Audi A4 and A4 Avant arrives in the showrooms. Hankook Tire reports that the new A4 will receive several sizes of its flagship Ventus S1 evo² tyre: Cars shipped on 17-inch rims will be fitted with a 225/50R17Y tyre (including an XL extra load version), while larger-rimmed A4s will receive the 245/40R18Y (XL) and 245/35R19Y (XL). The original equipment version of the Ventus S1 evo² was developed at Hankook Tire’s European Technology Centre (ETC) in Germany, where Hankook coordinates tyre development for Audi AG vehicles, and is manufactured at Hankook’s factory in Hungary.
Hankook has announced that its sponsorship contract with the UEFA Europa League will continue for another three years. The tyre manufacturer will be an official partner to the prestigious club competition until the end of the 2017/18 season, having started in 2012. Explaining the latest contract extension, Hankook stated that sport sponsorship activities are an integral part of the company’s marketing strategy in the region. It claims this strategy has contributed to 13 and 6 per cent increases in consumers’ awareness of and references to the brand respectively in the European market. Many of the tyre industry’s biggest brands have capitalised on the huge global popularity of the beautiful game.
In a few hours the UEFA Europa League Final will begin in Warsaw, and sponsor Hankook Tire is ready and waiting. The tyre maker has set up numerous fan events around the city and at Stadion Narodowy. In Castle Square, within Warsaw Old Town, Hankook has constructed a 130 square metre brand area in which it is showcasing its tyres and simultaneously offering many football-related activities, such as target shooting, face painting, and fan photography to the visitors. Products are also being displayed outside the national stadium, while a giant inflatable Hankook tyre has been set up at the entrance.