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Date 06/06/2010 Hits61,942

Category Corporate

Home Game for Hankook Tire at the Reifen 2010 Trade Fair in Essen

Home Game for Hankook Tire
at the Reifen 2010 Trade Fair in Essen

- Ninth appearance at the “Reifen” trade fair to reflect company’s growing
  importance on the European market
- Volkswagen Group certifies European production site of Hankook Tire for
  all affiliated brands
- Trade press regularly confirms the top quality of Hankook products
- Hankook products demonstrate a successful combination of performance and
  environmental friendliness: New concept tyres nearing series production unveiled
  for the first time
- Sensational results in the 24 Hours Race on the Nurburgring
- Driving Emotion: Hankook Tire and Borussia Dortmund

Hankook Tire currently the world’s seventh largest tire manufacturer, is scheduled to appear at the Reifen trade fair in Essen from June 1 to June 4, 2010, the company’s ninth such appearance. The Hankook trade fair booth in Hall 3 (booth No. 128) will fully reflect the company’s continuously growing importance on the European market. This makes it a “home game” for Hankook Tire in two respects: Not only is the tire manufacturer right at home at this tire trade fair by now, but thanks to steadily increasing market share and powerful growth, Europe ? with the company’s state-of-the-art new production plant in Hungary and its core market of Germany ? has long been the company’s home market as well.

Here, too, the tire manufacturer’s game plan is decisive and balanced, as its successes in the high-performance tire segment and steadily growing OEM business demonstrate. Leading global automotive manufacturers rely on tyres from Hankook Tire for their teams, including Europe’s biggest automaker, Volkswagen, which has been ordering the tire manufacturer’s products continuously since 2002. Thanks to the certification recently earned by Hankook’s new European tyre plant in Hungary ? in which the inspection team from VW gave the company the highest possible marks ? Hankook Tire has a home field advantage here as well: All of the Volkswagen Group models that use Hankook products can now be supplied directly from the site in Hungary with Hankook tires made in Europe.

As Jin-Wook Choi, Executive Vice-President and head of Hankook Tire in Europe, affirms: “We are proud and happy to maintain business ties with the Volkswagen Group and other leading European automotive manufacturers in a spirit of mutual trust and confidence. German car manufacturers, in particular, are known for their stringent quality standards and for top-notch technology and performance. At Hankook Tire, we share this passion for technological perfection.”

The company is off and running in high style at its European production site Racalmas, in Hungary: By the year 2011, Hankook has plans to invest an additional 230 million euros, doubling the plant’s current annual production to more than 10 million tires. The tire factory, which began operations only recently, in 2007, is one of the world’s most advanced production facilities. The plant’s more than 1,300 employees produce about 15,000 tires there each day (about five million per year) in more than 350 different dimensions for customers including VW.

Yet even with its relentless drive to perform, Hankook Tire firmly believes in the principles of fair play and invests in local training of tire specialists. By the year 2011, 700 unemployed people will undergo an education and training program, and, if they successfully complete the program, all of them are guaranteed a permanent job. In addition, the company is also making major investments in training the “leading players” of the future. In cooperation with the Institute for Material Sciences and Metallurgy at the local university, the College of Dunaujvaros, the company developed a graduate training course in tire development, production, and management tailored specifically to recent engineering graduates, and the program is already successfully in progress.

The tire manufacturer’s game tactics are paying off. The high level of quality that products from Hankook Tire are required to meet can only be achieved through long-term investments in the technology used for the company’s facilities and in training its staff. Independent tire tests have honoured the high quality of all of the company’s products for years, and the 2009/2010 season was no exception. After earning top marks from the German automobile club ADAC, which rated the Icebear W440 “Highly recommended,” and after the Optimo 4S came in at the top of tests performed by Auto Bild, the company’s sporty and comfortable flagship tire, the Ventus S1 evo, was just recently named the winner in a test by auto motor und sport. And Hankook Tire’s light truck tire, the Radial RA14, also handily won out over the competition in a test conducted by Europe’s biggest van magazine, Promobil, and “leaves the assembled competition in the dust.”

Legions of fans also sing the praises of the “green curve,” because Hankook Tire’s premium products combine maximum performance and environmentally friendly features ? apparently effortlessly. The Optimo 4S was the first all-season tire ever to be awarded the Blue Angel, the official environmental seal of the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). The Optimo 4S scored a double together with the highly eco-friendly concept tire Kinergy Eco, which is already nearing series production and is one of Hankook’s highlights for this year’s tire trade fair: Both tyres were awarded the international iF Product Design Award 2009 for their functional design and fuel-saving characteristics when in use.

This environmentally friendly “team” is supported by Hankook Tire’s new radial tire concept for commercial vehicles that travel long-distance routes, dubbed “e-cube.” An eco-friendly, economical, and advanced overall solution, e-cube represents a full family of commercial vehicle tires based on cutting-edge technology, consisting of steering and drive axle tires and trailer tires to go with them. The name e-cube (= e3) symbolises the three equally weighted development factors that were especially important to this tire concept: energy (low rolling resistance), economy (high mileage), and environment (reduced hazardous materials and low rolling noise).

Hankook Tire recently celebrated a number of sporting achievements, including during the legendary 24 Hours Race on the Nurburgring. In a spectacular chase during the final stretch, the Hankook Farnbacher Ferrari F 430 GTC reached the finish line in the “Green Hell” at just under four minutes behind the BMW works team, which had been favoured to win, thereby taking second place overall. And in the SP 7 class of vehicles with up to four litres of capacity, no other vehicle was faster: The class victory went to the Hankook Farnbacher Racing Team Ferrari. But Hankook Tire demonstrates its close sporting connection with Germany, Europe’s largest market, in more areas than just on the racetrack. As an official sponsor of six-time German soccer champions Borussia Dortmund, the tire manufacturer affirms its fandom and passion for the leather ball. Dietmar Olbrich, the tire manufacturer’s Director of Marketing and Sales for the German-speaking markets, explains: “Our partnership with Borussia Dortmund matches the emotionality of our brand. Our motto ‘Driving Emotion’ also applies to Borussia. We will be right there with Jurgen Klopp and his strong team, taking the field in Europe in the coming season.”


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