FRANKFURT, Germany (Sept. 16, 2015) — South Korea's Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. is rolling out its “price-conscious” Laufenn tire brand for the European market and disclosed it will produce the brand at its plant in Rácalmás, Hungary.
Hankook launched Laufenn last November in Las Vegas as a global brand, but marketed initially just in North America.
The Laufenn lines being rolled out in Europe were developed especially for European market needs, Hankook said, with the firm's European Technical Center (ETC) in Hanover, Germany, playing a vital role in development.
Considered an entry-level brand targeting price-conscious consumers, Laufenn will be available for consumers Europe-wide next spring. The name is derived from the German “laufen,” meaning to run.
“Laufenn will provide a new perspective on tires to our European customers,” said Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire.
“It will grow as a sustainable brand with our strategic efforts to meet the diverse needs of consumers in this market. We will continue to invest and make Laufenn a market player providing the most practical values that consumers seek.”
Laufenn initially will be offered in five product line-ups:
- S FIT EQ (passenger summer tires for the performance segment covering rim diameters of 15 to 19 inches);
- G FIT EQ (passenger summer tires for the touring segment from 13 to 17 inches);
- X FIT VAN (summer tires for the SUV/van segment from 14 to 16 inches);
- i FIT (studless passenger/SUV winter tires for western and central European markets from 13 to 18 inches); and
- i FIT ICE (studdable passenger car/SUV winter tires for Scandinavia/Russia from 13 to 18 inches).
Hankook announced the European roll-out at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show, which runs Sept. 15-27.
Hankook initially produced the brand at its plant in Bekasi, Indonesia, in part to avoid problems with the anti-dumping tariffs/countervailing duties that the U.S. was considering at that time against Chinese-sourced tires.