South Korean tyre makers can once again compete head-to-head on the baseball field, with Kumho Tire resuming its sponsorship of the Kia Tigers after a four-year hiatus. It joins Hankook Tire, sponsor of the Doosan Bears, in the top-level KBO League.
Kumho Tire is ranked among the top 12 per cent of the automotive parts industry in Morgan Stanley Capital International’s (MSCI) recent environmental, social, and governance (ESG) evaluation. The tyre maker has improved its evaluation score has been steadily rising year-on-year, having received a BBB grade in 2019, an A grade in 2021, and an AA grade this year.
Kumho Tire representatives have confirmed reports that the South Korean tyremaker has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi tyre business Black Arrow Tire Co (Blatco). However, the two parties differ on the degree of progress made with the talks.
Various news sources are reporting that South Korea’s Kumho Tire signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia-based Blatco (Black Arrow Tire Co. as part of the Saudi-South Korean Business Forum on 18 January 2022. As many as 13 agreements were signed during the Saudi-South Korean Business Forum, of which 10 were signed by oil major Saudi Aramco.
Following the WSC Group’s announcement that Kumho Tire has developed a bespoke tyre for TCR competition, TCR Europe has confirmed its intention to switch its exclusive tyre supply from Hankook to Kumho for the 2022 season. WSC approved the Kumho tyre following a successful evaluation test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the day after the final event of the 2021 TCR Europe season.
According to WSC Group Ltd., the entity behind the TCR touring car series concept, Kumho Tire has developed a bespoke tyre for TCR competition. WSC has approved the new tyre following its successful completion of evaluation testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 11 October, the day after the TCR Europe season drew to a close.
Hyundai has selected the Kumho PorTran KC53 as the standard tyre for its new Staria MPV. Kumho primarily designed the KC53 for European vans and LCVs, and it is an upgraded version of this pattern that it is now supplying in two sizes – 215/65R17C 108/105H and 235/55R18 104H XL – for fitment on the Staria. Kumho comments that the popular tyre is “recognised for its high durability, low wear rate and notable handling performance,” and is “tailor made for the climate and road conditions that prevail in Europe.”
Kumho Tire says it intends to respond more quickly to changes in the mobility sector by transforming its tyre development process. The tyre maker refers to its plans as a “digital transformation” and says it will create a “twin” of the tyres it develops in order to cut lead times. Through the use of big data and artificial intelligence, this digital twin will be able to predict the characteristics of the tyre’s compounds as well as how the tyre will behave when driven.
In addition to sporting Nexen tyres, the new Kia EV6 will also be sold with Kumho tyres as original equipment. The tyre maker is supplying its Kumho Ecsta PS71 summer and Cruzen HP71 all-season tyres for fitment on cars sold in South Korea; Kumho Tire hasn’t yet confirmed whether it will also supply tyres for other markets. Both size 235/55R19 tyres feature Kumho’s 2014-developed K-Silent sound absorption technology.
German Bundesliga club and Europa League contestant Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Kumho Tyre (as Kumho Tire markets itself in Europe) have extended the sponsorship contract they began in 2019. Kumho thus continues to be the club’s exclusive tyre partner as well as its sleeve partner in the German Football Association cup competition, the DFB-Pokal.
Kumho Tire Europe has a vision to “grow into a major brand,” shares Namhwa Cho. Speaking with the CEO Edit, a show presented outside the UK by BBC StoryWorks, the Kumho Tire Europe president spoke about the tyre maker’s aspirations as well as its experiences during the pandemic and plans to capitalise on mobility megatrends.
A further Red Dot accolade for Kumho, which has won a Red Dot Design Award 2021 in the ‘product design’ category. The Red Dot team honoured Kumho for its latest street legal competition tyre, the Ecsta V730. Kumho launched the Ecsta V730 in the US market earlier this year.
Kumho Tire has shared further details of the planned production capacity increase at its facility in Vietnam, as well as news of an associated project in the USA. The tyre maker says the US$305 million investment will double capacity at the Binh Duong Province site by 2023. This means that annual output should reach at least 9.3 million tyres per annum by that time. As previously stated, the project will commence in the third quarter of this year and run until the early part of 2023.
Kumho has a new tyre for the European van and light commercial vehicle segment. Introducing the Kumho PorTran 4S CX11, the tyre maker says its newcomer combines the strengths of the Solus 4S HA32 all-season passenger car pattern and its existing winter specification van tyre, the Winter PorTran CW11. The result, says Kumho, is a tyre that “ensures safe, secure driving and excellent braking performance throughout the year.