WAYNE, N.J., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Hankook Tire (http://www.hankooktire.com) CEO Choong-hwan Cho announced that the Company signed a contract to supply passenger tire H725A as optional equipment for the 2006 Saturn ION. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050815/NYM172-a http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050815/NYM172-b ) Hankook will supply General Motors' Saturn Division with P205/55R16H size tires affixed with the Hankook trademark in the form of direct export. The H725A model is a tire for compact passenger cars equipped with enhanced fuel economy and high-speed performance. Hankook has invested 5 billion won and spent two years in the development of the H725A tire. Hankook currently supplies tires to Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, Daihatsu and Mitsubishi, among others. The amount of Hankook's overseas OE business will rise to $100 million annually with the addition of the OE supply contract to General Motors. The volume is equivalent to $100 million in exports, or 10% of total exports (the export target for 2005 is $1 billion). Hankook Tire is also seeking OE supply contracts with other leading car manufacturers such as Chrysler of the U.S., Toyota of Japan and Mercedes-Benz of Germany. Choong-hwan Cho, Chief Executive Officer at Hankook Tire, said: "The contract to supply our tires to GM has not only brought recognition of Hankook Tire's technology within the advanced auto market, but will also result in a significant boost to exports and overseas brand recognition." Hankook Tire (http://www.hankooktire.com, CEO Choong-hwan Cho) is a leading supplier of tires to consumers in 180 countries around the world. Since its establishment in 1941, the Company has remained true to the tire industry for 60 years with its vision of delivering "Trust and Value to the World." Continued bold R&D investments (4.8% of total sales invested in 2004) and aggressive expansion into overseas markets have equipped the Company with international competitiveness and solidified its position as the leading tire maker in Korea. As of the end of 2004, Hankook commanded a 45.8% share of the domestic market to take the number-one position. In 2005, the Company will become the first Korean tire company to achieve $1 billion in exports and annual sales to become the 8th largest in the world. Hankook Tire began tire production at the Youngdeungpo Plant in 1942 and constructed Asia's largest tire plant in Daejeon in 1979. In 1997, first-stage work was completed on the high-tech Geumsan Plant. Currently, the Company manufactures 38 million tires annually. As part of the process to globalize manufacturing facilities, Hankook erected plants in the Jiaxing and Jiangsu areas in China in 1999. Currently, 20 million tires are produced annually at the two plants. In addition, Hankook has 3 regional headquarters, 35 local offices and 1,350 distribution centers inside Korea. Overseas, the Company maintains 2 regional headquarters, 10 local corporations, 4 technical centers and 6 offices. Product development is pursued at the Main R&D center located within the Daeduk Science Town, the Akron Technical Center (ATC) in the U.S., Europe Technical Center (ETC) in Germany, China Technical Center (CTC), and Japan Technical Center (JTC). The centers are equipped with state-of-the art facilities and are staffed by 500 employees, including 300 top-notch engineers. Hankook Tire is a technology-focused, market-driven company with manufacturing facilities around the world and research and development on three continents. Hankook Tire manufactures and markets a full range of Passenger, High Performance, Ultra-High Performance, Light and Medium Truck, Winter Radial, Original Equipment, and Truck and Bus Radial Tires.
SOURCE Hankook Tire America Corp.