Continuing our ongoing series of Torque from the top special interviews with influential industry figures, here Tyres & Accessories hears from Keon Park managing director, Kumho Tyre UK, who shares Kumho’s perspective on the challenges and triumphs of the last couple of years as well as the well-known brand’s hopes for the future.
Hot on the heels of its all-weather PorTran 4S CX11 van tyre comes Kumho’s new WP52 – a winter pattern for medium to large passenger cars and SUVs. The company’s cold weather range now comprises five models of car & SUV tyre and two van tyre lines.
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.
Tyre comparison website Tyre Reviews has put ten popular tyres for performance cars to the test, making the brand-new Continental SportContact 7 a winner in its first outing on the independent assessment circuit. Reviewer Jonathan Benson fitted the ten tyre combinations to a BMW-powered Toyota Supra in sizes 255/35 R19 (front) and 275/35 R19 (rear) for the test, which he conducted over nine disciplines at Conti’s Contidrom facility. Given that the tyre was proven at the circuit, and is at least 12 months newer than any other product in this test, it is perhaps a little unsurprising that the SportContact 7 prevailed, but with reasonably comfortable first-place finishes in the dry and wet handling and braking tests, Tyre Reviews concludes that the tyre sets “a new standard for the UUHP segment.”
Kumho is bringing the follow-up to its highly rated Ecsta HS51 to the replacement tyre market in 2022. The Ecsta HS52 will be available from Kumho dealers this spring. The tyre, the latest in the Korean tyre manufacturer’s Ecsta range for performance cars comes after its predecessor’s triumph in Auto Bild’s March 2021 summer tyre test, when it topped a list of 53 candidates. By the end of 2022 the HS52 will be available in 46 sizes to fit rim diameters between 14 and 18 inches.
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.
Tottenham Hotspur and Kumho Tyre agreed to a “long-term extension” of Kumho’s position as the premier league football club’s Official Tyre Partner at a signing ceremony at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium recently.
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’s recently renewed partnership with Tottenham Hotspur has many benefits – not least the annual five-a-side tournament that the Club lays on for customers. Although the 2020 event was postponed due to Covid-19, this year was a different story, and eight teams, each managed by a Spurs legend, battled it out at the club’s Training Centre at Hotspur Way.
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.