Nexen Tire lays claim to being the first Korean tyre maker to utilise virtual reality (VR) in the product development process. To strengthen its digital design process capabilities, the tyre maker has developed a VR design simulation system at the Nexen Central Research Institute in Seoul. It says this VR design review system allows users to “appreciate the scale of real tyres in a virtual space.”
Hyundai Motor and Kia have been busy of late. In addition to announcing their new Universal Wheel Drive System, the vehicle makers say they’ve developed a new snow chain-integrated tyre technology that eliminates the need to fit a vehicle with snow chains. The technology uses shape memory alloy modules located inside the wheel and tyre that protrude to act as a ‘snow chain’ when an electrical signal is received.
Within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Expressway Corporation’s Road Traffic Research Institute, Nexen Tire intends to reduce the time and expense required to produce tyres for original equipment customers. The two partners signed the MoU on 27 November at the Research Institute’s headquarters in Dongtan, Hwaseong.
On 7 November, the Shanghai Stock Exchange published the 2023 credit rating report for Qingdao City Construction Investment (Group) Co Ltd. (Qingdao City Investment), the holding company of Qingdao Doublestar and Kumho Tire. Our sister publication Tyrepresschina.com has shared some of the key details contained within the report, which is dated June 2023.
The inaugural meeting of the Tire-to-Tire Circular Economy Model consortium took place at Hankook Tire & Technology’s Technodome facility in Daejeon, South Korea on 1 November. The Hankook Tire-initiated consortium aims to create a sustainable business model for end-of-life tyres in Korea by “designing innovative upcycling processes” for turning them into new tyres.
For Hankook Tire, original equipment tyre supply to the BYD T4K one-tonne electric truck is an opportunity to “further enhance its strategic relationship with BYD and solidify its presence in the Chinese market, one of the world’s largest EV markets.” BYD has jointly developed the T4K with GS Global specifically for the South Korean market, where it will wear Hankook RA08 tyres.
Half a year after a major fire caused extensive damage to its tyre factory in Daejeon, South Korea, Hankook Tire & Technology has recommenced some tyre production within the facility. In a disclosure to the Korea Exchange (KRX), the company reports that it approved the resumption of production at the site’s Plant 1 facility on 1 September 2023.
Korean waste treatment and raw material recycling company LD Carbon and Switzerland’s Tyre Recycling Solutions (TRS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a facility in South Korea. This plant will process end-of-life tyres (ELTs) into TyreXol rubber powders using the TRS Water Pulse process. LD Carbon will utilise ELTs not processed into TyreXol to produce tyre pyrolysis oil and recovered carbon black products whose quality has already passed various global tyre manufacturers’ assurance tests for commercial adoptions.
Tyre makers such as Michelin and Bridgestone may be preparing to drive on the moon, but Nexen Tire has its sights on Mars. The Korean tyre maker has received recognition in the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2023 for its Mearth concept tyre.
Hankook Tire & Technology has published its 2022/23 ESG Report, highlighting the company’s sustainability activities, performance, and mid- and long-term strategies for the year. The report, Innovation for a Sustainable Future, is the 14th report published since 2010 and provides an overview of Hankook Tire’s performance in three primary categories: Eco-Value Chain, Sustainable Product, and Responsible Engagement.
Hankook Tire & Technology reports increasing its revenue and operating profit in Q2 2023 despite a difficult business environment. Revenues were up 11 per cent year-on-year to KRW 2.2634 trillion (£1.37 billion, US$1.77 million), and operating profit jumped 41.6 per cent to KRW 248.2 billion (£150.41 million, $194.0 million). At 11.0 per cent, operating margin was 2.4 percentage points higher than in Q2 2022.
Further legal issues for Hankook Tire & Technology chairman Cho Hyun-bum, with prosecutors seeking to combine the two charges against him into a single indictment. Cho, who was indicted without detention on 21 July for breach of trust, is already on trial for allegedly embezzling approximately 20 billion won (£12.1 million).
Nexen Tire has joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), an international initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate management. By signing on to the UNGC, the Korean tyre maker commits to aligning its actions with ten sustainability principles and pledges to contribute to the UNGC’s Sustainable Development Goals.
By 25 April, Hankook Tire & Technology had received more than 2,000 complaints from local residents, businesses and farmers related to the fire that broke out at its Daejeon tyre plant on 12 March. In a statement issued today, the company indicates its intention to provide compensation as soon as possible for those complaints that are “closely related to the fire incident and can be proven.” Hankook Tire is also engaged in clean-up activities and repairing public facilities in order to “restore daily life” in the local area.
While tyre retail sales volumes in Russia reportedly declined 16% year-on-year in Q1 2023, to 3.2 million units, sales value dropped 42%. The growing popularity of lower-priced tyres partially explains this larger decrease in turnover, and imports from China and Korea rose significantly. An expert from one association nonetheless still recommends European tyres, even though they’re hard to find and expensive.