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Date 03/05/2007 Hits68,242

Category Corporate

Hankook Celebrates Its No. 100 Million Tire Off the Production Line in China

Hankook Celebrates Its No. 100 Million Tire Off the Production Line in China
Hankook will strive to maintain its market share while develop its premium brand

(Beijing, China, March 26) –Hankook Tire today celebrated its No. 100 million tire off the production line in China Jiaxing Factory in Zhejiang Province.  It is not only an important milestone for Hankook Tire’s development in China, but also spotlights the rapid development of China’s tire industry.

According to National Bureau of Statistics of China,China’s total tire production amounted to 433 million units in 2006, reporting a 15% year-on-year increase.  As one of the major global tire players in the China market, Hankook has contributed to this growth with its striking production capacity.  With the constantly expanding capacity of its core production base, Jiaxing Factory, Hankook now has an annual production capacity of 28 million units.

China is regarded as one of the most important markets in Hankook’s global strategy, such that Hankook attaches great importance to the investment and development on this market.  Hankook established two factories in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province and Jiangsu Province successively, and built a R&D Center in Jiaxing Factory, which is one of its 5 global R&D Centers and is taking increasing R&D responsibilities over products and new technologies for China and beyond.  Early this year, Mr. Cho Choong Hwan, Vice Chairman and former CEO of Hankook Tire, shared his vision for the global tire industry, remarking that the recent competitive conditions within the tire industry have seen the considerable growth of production in developing nations both from traditional manufacturers and emerging players from the BRIC nations (Namely Brazil, Russia, India and China).  Although demand is still growing in these markets, the rate of production is outstripping demand, seeing a rise in overseas exports, particularly from China.

“With sustained efforts in production capacity, R&D, and marketing, Hankook Tire’s goals for 2007 are to seize more than 25% of China’s market for car tires, build a large-scale distribution network covering the whole country, and provide large quantities of tires for use on luxury cars manufactured both at home and abroad.  It is hoped that through the realization of these goals in 2007, Hankook will ultimately become Chinese consumers’ favorite brand of tires,” said Hankook China President Choi Jin Wook.

“China’s auto industry will maintain high and increasing momentum in 2007, and Hankook Tire will take the opportunity to achieve breakthrough. Hankook will also bring its global premium brand image store T-station into China, along with changing brand and marketing strategies, to expand to the premium market.” said Mr. Choi Jin Wook.

Hankook Tire, which globally upgraded from 11th ranking in 2001 to 7th currently, is targeting its operating margin to 9.4% (tire sales only) in, through increasing its sales on ultra high performance tires and stabilized rubber prices.  The company will focus on the establishment of its global managerial systems, by improving organization, process and personnel management, in order to reach globally recognized standards and ensure better customers service and high product quality.  Hankook Tire continues to invest 5% of its revenue in R&D centers located in Korea, China, Germany, Japan and the US.  Operations at its 5th, 500 million Euro production facilities in Hungary will begin later this year to meet overwhelming demand from its European customer base and establish the company as a truly global manufacturer.  Hankook Tire is targeting global sales of 3.6 billion USD (tire sales only) in 2007.

Since its entry into the China market in 1996, Hankook Tire, with high quality product and good reputation in service, has cooperated with and supplied tires to major automakers in the country.  Through the OE partnership, Hankook Tire further strengthens its R&D capabilities and improves the tire quality; meanwhile, it wins recognition from distributors and customers throughout the country, consolidating its leading position in the domestic car tire market. Statistics show that Hankook Tire has supplied radial tires to almost all well-known domestic auto manufactures since 2002, capturing nearly 30% share of the market.  It supplied 3 million units of car tires in 2006, as opposed to 1 million units in 2004.  At present, Hankook ranks number one for Chinese domestic auto tire market share.



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