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Hankook Tire’s Decade-long Stride in China
Hankook Tire’s Decade-long Stride in China
Shanghai, China, 18th May – Hankook Tire (www.hankooktire.com), one of the fastest growing tire manufactures in the world, celebrated its 10th year anniversary at its Huai’an factory in Jiangsu Province. Mr. Ding Jieming, Part Secretary of Huaian government, Jiangsu province, Mr. fan Jinglong, Mayor of Huaian, other officials from Huaian government, Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, CEO of Hankook Tire, Mr. Hwi Joong Kim, CTO/CPO of Hankook Tire, and Mr. Choi Jin Wook, Hankook Tire China President, and leaders from Jiangsu Huai’an municipal government attended the ceremony. Mr. Seung Hwa Suh said, “Hankook Tire has experienced rapid growth: we have recently celebrated the No. 100 million tire off the production line and have sustained the top position in China’s market, which has helped Hankook Tire to build a solid foundation for ranking the 7th in the global market, and to lay down a solid foundation for the further high speed growth in China market”
A low profile but fast growing decade
Since its entry into China in 1996, Hankook Tire has maintained its growth with a comparatively modest and down-to-earth attitude. Hankook established two factories in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province and Huai’an Jiangsu Province successively, expanding its China production capacity to 28 million units annually. The company celebrated the No. 100 million tire manufactured in China at its Jiaxi factory in March 2007.
In 1998, Hankook established its China Technical Center. After the grand expansion in 2006, currently it is composed of 110 researchers and over 70 pieces of high-tech equipment, as one of the company’s five global R&D centers. Hankook is currently planning to build a 3 million square meter tire testing ground for the R&D center. Once complete, the site will be responsible for an growing number of domestic and international research assignments. China has already become Hankook Tire’s most important overseas market; now, Hankook Tire China is taking increasing shares in the company’s global business.
Hankook Tire’s practical working style and deep understanding of Chinese customers and the China market have won recognition from distributors and users throughout the country: since 1999 Hankook Tire supplied tires to more than 30 top auto companies including Shanghai GM, Shanghai/Faw Volkswagen, Beijing Hyundai, and Nanjing Fiat. Products made in Hankook Tire’s China plants also enjoy worldwide recognition: its tires are supplied to famous global car manufactures such as GM SATUN ION, and have received FORD Q1 certification in 2005.
Hankook Tire not only is a leading supplier of tires for cars, but also for buses and trucks. Hankook’s TBR products, which are designed and produced to adapt to harsh road conditions and cargo weight, have received high praise from automakers. Hankook Tire was the sole tire manufacturer named by Xiamen Golden Dragon Tourist Bus as an “Excellent Supplier” for 2006.
Ambitious branding strategy
Over the past decade, Hankook Tire has established itself as a reliable brand for its customers. However, Hankook does not satisfy with the current status and launches its high-end branding strategy, targeting to be the top brand on the basis of its products, marketing channels and services.
Hankook Tire brought its latest products, Ventus S1 evo, Ventus V12 and Ventus R-S2; ultra high performance tires, to display at Auto Shanghai 2007. K110 is designed for high-class modified vehicles and targets active and trendy consumers. In January, Hankook signed a supply contract with Audi China to provide this model of tire to Audi A6L and A4. K110 and Z212 are suitable for sport cars.
An after-market service shop- T-Station, the esteemed service arm of Hankook Tire, launched its first direct-invested shop in Shanghai on April 13, 2007. The T-Station direct-invested shop is a flagship store offering one-stop tire and related auto services. All Hankook T-Station shops utilize advanced management concepts and unified prices in order to provide high quality services to consumers. In China, T-Station business model includes both direct-invested and franchised stores. T-Station expects to open 300 franchised stores in the next five years.
Meanwhile, Hankook Tire closely follows China’s car racing events and are currently participating two major domestic events; it provided Wei Hao Rally Team with all tires needed for both racing and training purposes, supporting the team in its winning first place in the Zhuhai Section of the 2005 China Circuit Championship. In March, Hankook Tire and Wan Yu Rally Team jointly announced that Hankook Tire will supply the team with high-performance tension tires for the China Rally Championship 2007. Wan Yu Rally Team took first place in the first section of 2007 CRC race.
Since the 1980s, Hankook Tire has been actively participating in car racing events in South Korea. Early in the l990s, Hankook expanded its focus to international racing events in which competition was even fiercer. In 2007, Hankook will appear in a variety of important international racing events including Japan Super GT, Nurburgring 24 Hour Racing, and US Formula D. Recently, Hankook Tire reached a strategic partnership with the German Juergen Alzen Motorsport Team, with a race car based on a Porsche Cayman, to take part in 24h race at Nurburgring.
Keeping up with global trends and welcoming the promising next ten years
Hankook Tire has risen to number 7 worldwide in its industry, up from number 11 in 2001. The company wishes to increase its annual global sales by 9.4% through increased sales of high quality tires and stabilization of the price of rubber.
The company will continue to invest 5% of revenue in R&D at centers located in Korea, China, Germany, Japan and the US. The company will start operation a 500 million Euro production facility in Hungary in June in order to meet overwhelming demand from its European customer base and establish the company as a truly global manufacturer.
Hankook Tire’s annual sales target in 2007 is US$ 3.6 billion. Encouraged by this target, Hankook Tire China welcome that promise of the next ten years.