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Hankook Tire Secures Large OE Order from Ford
Hankook Tire has become a major OE vendor to Ford after concluding a five-year direct export contract last December for 380,000 tires a year. The RHO3 (245/75R 16) tires will be used on the classic Ford Econoline 350 vans, and “direct export?means the Hankook brand will be displayed on the sidewall. The first vehicle mounted with the Hankook product rolled off the assembly line in a January ceremony. The total value of the RHO3 deal, to include replacement tires, is estimated at US$90 million. Ford built its first Econoline van back in 1961. This is a major product line, with annual sales of at least 1 million units. The new contract has boosted Hankook Tire’s scheduled annual delivery to Ford from 1.4 million tires during 2003 to 1.78 million tires, valued at US$43 million, in 2004. In 1999, Hankook Tire became the first tiremaker in Asia ever to supply Ford, and Hankook earned Ford’s Q1-Award quality certification the next year. Ford is very strict about quality and currently has five tire vendors—Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, Pirelli and Hankook Tire. Hankook Tire President Cho Joong-hwan said, “This latest contract with Ford is important recognition of our technological expertise in the vast US automotive market. This will help to elevate our brand image worldwide.? Last year Hankook Tire also concluded a contract to supply 550,000 tires for Ford’s popular F-150 pickup truck, a model that sells over 1 million units a year. The company is scheduled to ship an additional US$ 65 million in total to Volvo, Opel, Daihatsu, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen in the coming year, and new OE supply agreements are being sought with GM, Chrysler and Toyota.