RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico (Feb. 11, 2015) — Hankook Tire America Corp. and its parent, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., have aggressive goals to grow in the coming years based on three basic pillars: strategic globalization, technology innovation and what they're calling “brand value up.”
This effort includes boosting sales by double digits annually in the U.S., growing the number of retail points of sale as well as enhancing Hankook's brand presence. These initiatives should help South Korea-based Hankook become the fifth largest tire maker in the world by 2018 from No. 7 today, moving ahead of Pirelli & C. S.p.A. and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., the company said.
Hankook also plans to beef up its R&D technology globally by hiring 300 to 400 researchers at its Technodome technical center, which is under construction near Daejeon, South Korea, and scheduled to open in 2016.
In addition, Hankook plans to introduce two tires in the U.S. this year — the grand touring Kinergy GT H436 in May, which will replace the H426, and later this year the Winter I'cept evo2 (W320), which will replace the W310. Hankook will continue to offer the H426 in OE sizes.
Plans also call for developing a dealer council in the near future.
Hankook Tire America executives discussed these aims, plans and strategies in an interview with Tire Business and at a business meeting during its 2015 Partner's Day attended by about 150 key tire dealers, distributors and spouses Feb. 10 in Riviera Maya.