Shown above is a new tire brand of Hankook Tire & Technology. The company strives to preempt the tire market for electric vehicles. Photo courtesy of Hankook Tire & Technology

Korean tire maker strives to expand product portfolio

Now every automaker appears to vow to come up with new electric vehicles in line with the world’s efforts to roll out environmentally friendly products.

The world’s leading carmakers, including BMW, Nissan, and General Motors, announced their plans to roll out up to 500 new electric vehicle models by the end of next year.

In line with the automotive revolution, tire manufacturers put forth great efforts to catch up with the abrupt change in the automotive business.

In South Korea, the country’s business bellwether Hankook Tire & Technology is leading the way in the global competition to deal with the global transition to electric cars.

The company plans to launch its EV-specific brand iOn in Europe this May.

It is scheduled to introduce summer tire Ventus iOn S and winter products Winter i*cent iOn. Its four-season items of Ventus iOn A will also hit the market later.

“In high-performance tire products, there has been a trade-off among various features. If you wanted to get one, you had to give up another one,” a Hankook official said.

“We tried very hard to grapple with the trade-off. As a result, we developed a technology of catching two birds with a stone. I think motorists will be able to get the best experiences without having to abandon anything.”

For example, Hankook Tire has developed such technologies as EV Contour Technology, EVolution Compound, and Hankook Sound Absorber.

They are all designed to help drivers have the best experiences behind the wheel, according to Hankook Tire.

Observers point out that more and more industries are rushing into the EV business.

“As you know, the era of EV is coming across the world. In line with the transition, tire companies are also required to come up with dedicated products,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said.

“Just like the stiff competition among EV makers, tire manufacturers are also expected to stage a fierce rivalry to remain ahead of the curve in the EV market.”

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.