TYRE MANUFACTURERS OF THE WORLD: SOUTH KOREAN TYRE BRANDS
In our series Tyre Manufacturers of the World, we take a look into the origins of famous international tyre brands. What country do Hankook tyres come from? Where do Nexen or Kumho tyres come from? This time we focus on South Korean tyre companies. Discover the list of Korean tyre brands and the many manufacturers who produce tyres in South Korea.
There are three major tyre brands in South Korea. Here you will learn more about the history of these Asian companies who little by little have successfully promoted themselves internationally. In South Korea, these tyre brands are focused on continuously improving technologies with the creation of research and development centres in Asia but also in Europe or in North America. The result, these Korean tyres manufacturers are more and more efficient in different tests conducted by independent testing organisations whether for summer tyres, winter tyres or for all season tyres. These brands have made a name for themselves on the international scene thanks to their sponsoring actions in motorsports and in football.
South Korean Hankook tyres
Hankook Tire is a South Korean tyre manufacturer created in 1941 under the name of Chosun Tyre at Seoul, capital of South Korea. It was only in 1978 that the brand took its current name. In Korean, Hankook simply means “South Korea”. Hankook is therefore, according to its name, the Korea tyre brand. The brand has heavily invested in tyre technologies. Today, Hankook has 5 R&D centres in Korea, Germany, China, Japan and the USA with more than 22,000 employees throughout the world. This has allowed the Korean tyre brand to become the 7th largest tyre manufacturer in the world in 2017 with 104 million tyres produced that year. If Hankook is mainly known for its passenger car tyres, the Korean tyre manufacturer also produces batteries, brake pads and even wheels. Hankook is also involved in football and is official sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, Real Madrid, AS Monacon, Borussia Dortmund and SSC Naples. As for motorsports, Hankook is the official sponsor and tyre supplier for the DTM, the German championship for touring cars.
South Korean Kumho tyres
Kumho Tire is a South Korean tyre brand founded in 1960 at Gwangju in South Korea. If the brand was previously known as Samyang Tire, it quickly changed to “Kumho” like its parent company, the Kumho Asiana Group conglomerate. The latter sold its shares in the company in 2017 to the Chinese group, Qingdao Doublestar. The South Korean Kumho Tire brand employs almost 11,000 people throughout the world, mainly to produce tyre for passenger cars. South Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho has also established itself internationally with its partnerships in the sports world. In the USA, the brand is official sponsor of the NBA (basketball league), whereas in Europe it sponsors football clubs like Tottenham Hotspur.
South Korean Nexen tyres
Nexen Tire is a South Korean tyre manufacturer. Founded in Yangsan in South Korea in 1942 under the name of the Heung-A Tire Company, the brand was also called Woosung Tire before becoming Nexen Tire Corporation in 2008. Contraction of the word “next” and “century”, Nexen has established R&D centres in the USA, Germany and in China. The South Korean brand mainly produces tyres for passenger cars, SUVs and vans. Nexen has significantly developed its sponsoring in sports, especially in football. The Korean brand is also official sponsor of the current English champion Manchester City, its Australian subsidiary club Melbourne City and the German club Eintracht Francfort.
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