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Yokohama, Kumho set R&D cooperation

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TOKYO (June 2, 2014) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and South Korea’s Kumho Tire Co. Inc. have expanded the scope of their three-month-old technological alliance to cover cooperative research and development as well as licensing and exchanging technology.

Among the specific disciplines covered by the agreements will be joint R&D on the tire-related technologies such as ultra-lightweight tires and other environmentally friendly tires.

The parties did not disclose other details of the agreements, such as their duration, renewal terms, intellectual property rights, budgets, etc.

Yokohama and Kumho signed their master technological alliance agreement in mid February, which followed a memorandum of understanding signed on Nov. 29, 2103.

The two companies earlier said the alliance will help them increase their competitiveness in the global tire market by sharing R&D resources and making more effective use of them through joint research and development on tire-related technologies, including environmental technology.

Yokohama and Kumho are the Nos. 8 and 11 tire makers worldwide, with fiscal 2013 tire-related sales of about $4.9 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively.

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