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Title 6/6/2008 - World Environment Day: Hankook Tire Pledges US$19 Million Annually to Environmental Technology Research
Date 06/09/2008 Count 8412

World Environment Day: Hankook Tire Pledges US$19 Million Annually to Environmental Technology Research

  • 350% more funds available to meet and exceed growing demand from regulators, OE makers and consumers for next generation environmental tires
  • Hankook Tire continues to invest 5 percent of revenue into R&D, one of the highest proportions in the industry

WAYNE, N.J. 6th June - Hankook Tire (www.hankooktire.com), the seventh-largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world*, will increase its ongoing investment into researching and developing more environmentally friendly tire technology to more than $19 million annually, announced as part of World Environment Day.

“As Hankook looks to continue its growth globally, and in the U.S. market in particular, we realize our products moving forward need to deliver further fuel efficiency benefits to meet our customers’ needs,” said Greg Pae, president of Hankook Tire America Corp. “Our Technical Center in Akron, Ohio, works closely with Hankook’s main R&D facilities in Korea to develop leading-edge technologies that will ultimately deliver the environmentally friendly tires more and more consumers will demand.”

As gas prices hit $4 a gallon in the U.S. and recent announcements of OE truck and SUV production facility closings, fuel economy will continue to factor into American consumers’ buying choices for the long-term.

Bill Bainbridge, director of brand communications added: “All of the products we currently market in North America are designed and manufactured with the goal of keeping rolling resistance at a minimum. Lower rolling resistance translates into fuel economy. Helping consumers lower their annual vehicle operating costs while minimizing the release of CO2 emissions is a responsibility that we gladly accept.”

Hankook Tire has invested nearly $10.7 million into environmentally friendly tire technology over the past two and a half years, and the new investment focus will free approximately 350 percent more funds for environmental technology research every year. The investment into environmental technology is part of Hankook Tire’s consistent commitment to invest 5 percent of revenue into research and development annually, one of the highest proportions within the industry, and represents a concerted effort to meet and exceed emerging environmental demands from regulators, original equipment manufacturers and consumers.

“This investment is about making a serious improvement upon the current strides we have made into researching the effects of tires on the environment and developing tires that are more beneficial for the environment without sacrificing quality and performance,” said Mr. Hwi Joong Kim, CTO/CPO of Hankook Tire. “Technology is at the heart of everything we do and this investment represents our commitment and desire to lead the creation and development of next generation, high-performing environmental tires.”

Hankook officially launched its new environmentally friendly tire, enfren, in Korea earlier this year, and is considering the tire for launch in other markets. The tire is a product of Hankook Tire’s Kontrol Technology development cycle and combines a number of technologies including a special silica compound and structural design efficiencies. The tire also avails of production facility technologies to enhance the tire’s rolling resistance performance, helping to reduce both energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Hankook Tire is already recognized for its strong environmental technology globally. Hankook Tire’s Optima 4S in Europe became the only tire in the world to hold Germany’s eco-label, the Blue Angel, in May 2008, joining a list of over 10,000 products across 80 categories to receive this honor during the past 30 years.

* According to Modern Tire Dealer (Jan. 2008)

About Hankook Tire Co., Ltd
Hankook Tire (CEO: Seung Hwa Suh) is the seventh largest and one of the fastest growing tire manufacturers in the world. It produces innovative, superior quality high performance radial tires for passenger cars, light trucks (SUVs, RVs, and etc.), commercial trucks, buses and special motor sports vehicles. It invests approximately 5 percent of revenue in research and development and develops cutting-edge technologies through its five global R&D Centers meeting regional customer demands and enhancing customer satisfaction. Selling in 185 countries around the world, the company has more than 14,000 employees. Approximately 70 percent of revenue comes from growing overseas sales.

For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktire.com

About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. is a technology-focused, market-driven company that markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck, SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires to more than 400 independent dealers through 3000+ retail sales locations in the United States and Canada.

For more information, please visit the Hankook website at www.hankooktireusa.com

Media Contacts:
Bill Bainbridge Cindy Kamerad Melissa Vander Laan
Director of Brand Communication Account Director Senior Account Executive
Hankook Tire America Corp Weber Shandwick Weber Shandwick
Phone: 973-633-9000 x 531 Phone: 248-203-8112 Phone: 248-203-8154

wbainbridge@hankooktireusa.com

ckamerad@webershandwick.com

mvanderlaan@webershandwick.com

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