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Date 20/04/2008 Hits71,975

Category Corporate

Hankook Tire launches “Kontrol Technology” at Auto Beijing 2008

Hankook Tire launches “Kontrol Technology” at Auto Beijing 2008

- Kontrol Technology developed by Hankook Tire to ensure controlled driving experiences and articulate technology benefits to customers and dealers
- Hankook Tire continues to invest 5% of revenue in R&D
- Hankook Tire showcases new low rolling resistance, environmental tire - enfren - due for its first launch in the Korea market  in early summer
- In China, one in four passenger car tires are a Hankook, while the company is also the market leading OE supplier

Seoul, Korea, April 21 - Hankook Tire, the seventh-largest and one of the fastest-growing tire manufacturers worldwide*, launched 'Kontrol Technology' globally at Auto Beijing 2008 to make it easier for customers and dealers to understand the advanced technology behind its tires.


Kontrol Technology is Hankook Tire's research and development philosophy as well as a set of proprietary innovations - applied throughout research, development and production - developed by Hankook Tire to ensure controlled driving experiences. The result of Kontrol Technology is tires that provide a range of driving benefits across four areas that customers identify as key when choosing quality tires: Performance; Safety; Comfort; and a tire's impact on the Environment.

As part of the Kontrol Technology information booth at Auto Beijing, Hankook Tire also showcased for the first time a new environmental tire - enfren - which has completed the Kontrol Technology development cycle and is due for its first commercial launch in Korea in early summer this year. The tire combines a number of technologies including a special silica compound and structural design efficiencies as well as availing of production facility technologies to enhance the tire's rolling resistance performance, helping to reduce both energy consumption and CO2 emissions. According to official Korea Automotive Technology Institute testing, the tire improves fuel economy by 3% and reduces CO2 emissions by 4 kg/km. Additionally, the tire could save consumers on average of approximately US$50 per year**. 

"Without precise machinery or skilled high-performance driving experience, it is challenging for people to differentiate one tire in its category from another. Hankook Tire continues to develop an edge in terms of technology, which in turn is helping the company grow its reputation and sales throughout the world. Kontrol Technolology helps customers and dealers more easily understand the benefits of all the technology behind our tires," says Mr. Hwi Joong Kim, CTO/CPO of Hankook Tire.

By consistently and strategically investing approximately 5% of revenues in R&D, Hankook Tire's reputation for quality and advanced technology has been steadily increasing. Last year, the company ranked fifth in J.D. Power and Associates' 2007 OE Tire Customer Satisfaction Study (mass market/non-luxury segment) having risen from 10th in 2004, 8th in 2005 and 6th in 2006. Globally, the company's UHP tires sales also grew by 10.5% in 2007.

Commenting on the philosophy behind Hankook Tire's technology, Mr. Kim continues, "Technology is at the heart of everything we do. We believe that high performance driving should never compromise the control of the vehicle while we also strive to control and reduce the impact that driving can have on others. Kontrol Technology is the range of high-end technologies that goes into all our tires helping customers and society benefit on many levels."

The company's advanced technology is also consistently receiving acclaim in famous European tire tests. In March 2008, Hankook was the only major tire manufacturer to receive top honours in all the annual summer tire tests. The Ventus V12 evo ranked first in Auto Bild in its ultra-high performance category and outperformed all competitors on handling under all conditions. The Ventus V12 evo also received the highest possible recommendations of 'Exemplary' and 'Very Recommendable' in the Auto Bild Sportscar and Auto Zeitung summer tire tests, respectively. The Ventus Prime, another ultra-high performance tire, was labelled a "sensation" by Auto, Motor und Sport. The magazine ranked it first in its automotive premium segment, the only tire to be awarded 'Very Recommendable'.

Today, at Auto Beijing 2008, marked the first official announcement of Hankook Tire's Kontrol Technology to the public. China is Hankook Tire's second home market with the company both the leading passenger car supplier - one in four tires are a Hankook - and OE supplier in the market. Hankook Tire, having establishing its first of two fully-owned production facilities in China in 1999 has been a market leader in China since 2003.

Hankook Tire will roll out Kontrol Technology in other key markets throughout 2008 and 2009 and enfren will be launched first in June 2008 in Korea and planned to be introduced in other overseas market in the future.

About Kontrol Technology

Kontrol Technology is Hankook Tire's technology philosophy which reflects how the tire should perfectly control the interaction between the driver, the car and the road while in motion (the 'K' stands for kinetic). It is implemented to ensure Hankook Tire provides the greatest benefits and driving experiences to customers in terms of safety, driving comfort, handling, performance and environmental friendliness.

* According to Modern Tire Dealer (Jan. 2008)

** When driving on a full tank with enfren tires versus a Hankook Tire current tire in its class, it is calculated that a consumer would save 35.4 litres of petrol or the equivalent of KRW 56,600 per year


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