Shown above is the Cayenne sports utility vehicle of Porsche. Hankook Tire & Technology provides its tires for the super-premium vehicle. Photo courtesy of Hankook Tire & Technology

SUVs of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz use Hankook products

Hankook Tire & Technology, South Korea’s biggest tiremaker, said this week that a mounting number of automakers use its products for sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

Included in its new SUV customers list are such European premium brands as Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, which use Hankook’s original equipment tires for their utility vehicles.

Compared to passenger car products, SUV tires are required to be stronger in sidewall and trade patterns so that drivers can feel comfortable on the road.

Because of the vehicle’s heavier weights, SUV-specific tires also need to have better load carrying capacity and flatness, the requirements that Hankook Tire has successfully met.

“Utility vehicles have a higher gravitational center compared to passenger cars. Hence, they are more vulnerable to rollover accidents and other incidents,” a Hankook Tire official said.

“Through technologies tailored to SUV, we strengthened safety of our tires while making motorists feel like their vehicle is floating on the road just like high-end sedans.”

Hankook Tire has already provided its tires to up to 320 models of 46 automotive brands.

And an increasing number of SUV makers also knock on the door of the Seoul-based Hankook Tire, the world’s No. 7 player in terms of annual sales.

For example, Hankook Tire is providing tires for the third-generation Cayenne of Porsche. Plus, the New Audi SQ8 TDI, the New X3 of BMW, and the GLC of Mercedes-Benz opt for Hankook Tire.

“We will continue to make efforts to improve the quality of our products to meet the rising demands for premium SUV tires in the global markets, in particular in the United States and Europe,” the official said.

Established in 1941, Hankook Tire is currently headed by CEO Cho Hyun-bum. The outfit has production facilities across the world.

On top of tires, the firm also sells automobile-related products such as batteries, brake pads, and alloy wheels.