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Hankook Tire to Build its New European Winter Tire Testing Center in Ivalo/Finland
- - Hankook Tire has contracted Finnish tire testing company Test World to build its first Europe-based winter testing facility
- - The new test center will be located close to Test World in Ivalo, Finland and will be Hankook Tire’s exclusive venue for the expansion of the company’s future winter product testing from December 2016 onwards
December 10, 2015 (Seoul, Korea) – Premium tire company Hankook Tire has decided to establish its own European winter tire testing facility in Ivalo, Finland, some 300 km/h north of the polar circle. The company has recently signed a contract to build the facility with the Finnish tire testing company Test World Oy next to their own testing area Mellatracks.
Hankook Tire’s designated proving ground area will incorporate new test tracks for different test situations and will be securely fenced, as well as equipped with the necessary connecting and service roads. The testing center will be built with state-of-the-art workshop facilities, as well as offices, meeting and social rooms. Preparations for the construction and design work had started immediately after the signing of the agreement. Hankook Tire expects the entire site to be operational from December 2016.
“Hankook Tire constantly invests to enhance its competitiveness in the global market. With our improved technological capability and production facility based on our technology leadership management, Hankook Tire will acquire more robust, more advanced R&D capabilities to become a global top-tier tire brand,” said Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire. And he added, “The new proving ground in Ivalo where various winter tests will be made shall boost effectiveness of our winter tires to provide maximum satisfaction to our customers.”
Millbrook Group CEO Alex Burns also commented “Hankook Tire is our long-term customer and a premium player in the global tire market. The contract for the construction of a new winter tire testing center in Ivalo is an indication of confidence in Test World and at the same time strengthens its position as the world's leading winter tire test facility.”
Hankook Tire’s investment in the world’s most northerly winter proving ground area has been made partly also due to the increasingly varying conditions and the uncertain winter in more southerly Scandinavian or Alpine areas these days. Ivalo’s location offers very stable and long winter conditions which extends the time available for testing. Furthermore, flexible air services and a wide range of ancillary services have been identified as additional benefits. Once established, the Hankook Tire global R&D Center in keen cooperation with Europe Technical Centre (ETC) which is the company’s Germany-based R&D unit will be responsible to manage the new winter testing site.
“Hankook Tire has largely expanded R&D in Europe since the initial opening of our facility in 1997,” added Dipl-Ing. Klaus Krause, Head of the ETC. “Now we are one of the main suppliers to many premium automakers, including all German brands Audi, BMW, MAN, Mercedes-Benz Car and Truck, MINI, and Porsche. This requires a drastic increase in testing capacity, also for the expansion of our future winter original equipment business. Our long standing, successful and trustable partnership with Test World has convinced us to establish the new venue in Ivalo for the best possible results. Thus I am sure, the new exclusive facility will help us to fulfill our future requirements on time and without compromises.”