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Date 13/08/2007 Hits74,819

Category Corporate

First tyre delivery from Hankook’s European Factory

First tyre delivery from Hankook’s European Factory

- Only six weeks from set-up of the first production line to mass-production
- Plant serves as job- and export-engine for the country and region
- Production capacity of more than one million tyres so far in 2007

(Neu-Isenburg/Rácalmás, August 9th 2007) – Hankook Tire, one of Europe’s fastest growing tyre manufacturers, shipped the first charge of tyres produced in its newly constructed plant in Hungary. The 3,500 tyres of this very first delivery are destined for the United Kingdom and France, two of the manufacturer’s regional key-markets. The tyres produced are the Optimo K415 and K715, which were developed mainly for the European replacement business. Hailed by the attending employees, Hankook Tire Executive Vice-President and COO for Europe, Seung-Do Jin, Hankook Tire CTO & CPO Hwi-Joong Kim together with the Hungarian plant Managing Director Eung-Young Lee wished a safe journey to the drivers of the first two trucks leaving the loading platform of the new Hankook-warehouse, located next to the production facilities.

“The advancements pertaining to the completion of the tyre plant are breathtaking”, explained Seung-Do Jin. “On June 26, the first building machine started operation. Today, only six weeks later, we are able to deliver large amounts of Hankook tyres in the usual top-quality from Hungary to all over Europe. I would like to thank especially our employees here in Rácalmás for achieving this feat. Hankook tyres made in Hungary should become a symbol for highest product quality on the European market, as well as highest standards of service with regard to automobile manufacturers, tyre dealers and consumers.”      

Currently the new Hankook factory, with its 900 employees actually produces 3,300 tyres on a daily basis. By the end of the year the plant will have manufactured in excess of 1.2 million tyres. For 2008, Hankook aims to increase daily production up to 15,000 tyres. By 2010 the factory will have reached their full capacity, producing more than 30,000 car and light truck tyres every day. More than 90 per cent of the production is designated for export within Europe. However, not only within the plant but also in the periphery where suppliers and service providers are situated, a large number of new jobs has been created. “Hankook Tire is not only a driver of Hungarian exports, but also a job engine for the region”, adds Seung-Do Jin. “By doing so we justify the confidence shown by the local people as well as officials.”  

“Even though we planned all processes with utmost care, it is inevitable for a project of this size, such as hiring 900 workers during a very short time span, that we had faced challenges with our assessments in some areas,” concludes Managing Director Eung-Young Lee, as he looks back on the time between the laying of the first stone in July 2006 and today’s delivery of the first Europe-made tyres. “We are currently working very hard on suitable solutions in all fields”.

One of the key products for the European tire market is the Optimo K715 tyre. It has been produced in Hungary from the start and is especially environmentally friendly and was rated “good” by the German consumer-organisation Stiftung Warentest in its March 2007 publication. This tyre has a very low rolling resistance, which helps save fuel and it showed the least amount of pollutants among all 29 tested tyres. “We have put a special emphasis on the environment from the beginning”, Mr. Lee further explains. “In regular meetings with Hungarian environmental organizations we often discuss a fast implementation of strict environmental regulations in the near future. Our K715 tyre is a prime example. The European Union has set forth authoritative standards for the amount of pollutants allowed in tyres starting in the year 2010. Our K715 tyre already meets these standards today.”


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