The tyres will be fitted the fifth-generation Golf and will be sold in Europe beginning this month. In addition, the manufacturer will also provide 100,000 tyres a year for Volkswagen’s Bora model.
The deal will take Hankook’s overseas annual shipments for finished cars to $150 million, or 12% of its total export volume, according to the company. Hankook sees the OE contract as a strategic move that will enable it to enhance its share of the European replacement market. Both the Bora and Golf will be fitted with Ventus Prime K105 (205/55R16) and the Optimo K406 (195/65R15).
In 2005, Hankook tyres were introduced as standard equipment for the Ford Mondeo. The South Korean manufacturer also supplies VW’s Polo and other Volkswagen cars including the Audi A3, the Seat Ibiza and Seat Altea. In addition to Volkswagen Hankook equips manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Volvo, Daihatsu and Mitsubishi. Hankook aims to improve these numbers further by aiming at the luxury segment and says it is planning a number of addition projects in Europe.
Cho Choong Hwan, chairman of the board of Hankook Tire commented: "We now equip the best-selling model in Europe with an important product. This shows that we have made a step into the European market. This market is well-known for its high technological requirements and quality. Developing on a stable basic demand, we may now make additional growth in the replacement market."
Hankook Tire has been battling with competitor Kumho at the top of the South Korean market for many years and is number one in China in terms of passenger car tyre sales.