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Hankook nabs BMW, Mercedes OE fitments

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(Hankook Tire Co. Inc. photo) Hankook Tire's supply contract with BMW includes the Mini Cooper S.

NEU-ISENBURG, Germany (July 17, 2014) — Hankook Tire Co. Inc. has gained OE fitments with BMW A.G. and Daimler A.G. for the German car makers’ Mini and Mercedes-Benz C-Class models, respectively, with both standard and run-flat versions of four different tire models.

The supply contract with BMW covers five recently launched Mini models—One, One D, Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S—and represents a continuation of a supply relationship that started in 2011.

The C-Class fitment—Ventus S1 evo2 in size 225/50R17 W—is Hankook’s third OE contract with Daimler in the past year; the others are for S- and E-Class models.

The Mini fitments are:

• Kinergy EcoSummer and Optimo H426 All-Season in 175/65 R15H as the standard fitment for the Mini One and Cooper models, with 16- and 17-inch models as options;

• Optimo H426 All-Season in 195/55R16V and Ventus and Ventus Prime² in size 195/55R16W as standard fitments for the Cooper S; and

• Optimo H426 and Ventus S1 evo² in size 205/45R17V and W speed ratings as options on the S version.

The all-season fitments are intended for vehicles being exported to North America, Hankook said. The run-flat versions are the 17-inch fitments, according to the tire maker.

BMW and Hankook have selected various summer tread patterns to suit each car’s respective engine power to support “sporty-direct handling.”

Byung-il Woo, vice president of Hankook’s Global OE Division, called the Mercedes contract “further proof of the worldwide technological competence of the Hankook Tire brand.”

Hankook said the run-flat version of the Ventus S1 evo² is tuned for the C-Class with predictable handling and braking performance, high directional stability, low rolling noise and reduced rolling resistance. Those attributes are due, in part, to a significant weight reduction achieved by the use of a lightweight steel cord that was developed for the Hankook racing tires in the German Touring Car Championship.

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Titan International and the United Steelworkers union have petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce seeking relief from OTR tire imports from China, India and Sri Lanka. What’s your opinion?

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