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Title 4/15/2009 - Hankook Tire Continues to Expand Volkswagen OE Fitments with the Jetta, Jetta SportWagen and New Beetle in North America
Date 04/15/2009 Count 18536

Hankook Tire Continues to Expand Volkswagen OE Fitments with the Jetta, Jetta SportWagen and New Beetle in North America

Quality, Performance, Value Driving More Automakers to Factory Hankooks

  • Hankook Tire secures fitments for VW cars being sold in the U.S. and Canadian markets
  • Hankook Optimo H725A ideal fit to VW Jetta as all-season performer utilizing “Kontrol Technology”

Wayne, N.J., April 15, 2009 - Hankook Tire has begun supplying Volkswagen’s Jetta, Jetta SportWagen and New Beetle with Optimo H725A tires, manufactured at Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico plant, this month.

While Hankook has fitments on Volkswagen cars in other global markets, this development represents a significant increase in VW fitments on Volkswagens to be sold in Canada and the US, where Jetta is the highest selling VW model vehicle.

“A high-profile fitment such as this is a great win for Hankook. Along with our ongoing business with Ford, GM and Chrysler, earning this fitment demonstrates that our brand equity is rising with automakers for the all-important North American market,” said Greg Pae, president of Hankook Tire America Corp. “This O.E. business is very complimentary with our replacement sales strategy, supplying dealers and consumers with high quality products that deliver a great return on investment.”

The Optimo tire line is an ideal fit for VW and its exports to the U.S. and Canadian markets because of the product’s capability to deliver an ideal balance of performance, wear, quality and quietness, all of which add to VW’s perception as a high-quality, affordable automaker. Hankook Tire’s Optimo products are gaining recognition by the OEMs as high quality touring performance tires.

This expansion of tire fitments with Volkswagen into the U.S. and Canada represents a significant time for the future growth of Hankook Tire. “We are extremely excited to supply the Optimo for Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta SportWagen and New Beetle exports to the U.S. and Canadian markets,” said Seung Hwa Suh, CEO, Hankook Tire. “After working closely with Volkswagen as an OE supplier in other world markets, we have created excellent relationships, and we look forward to earning even more fitments on VW vehicles to be sold in the U.S. and Canada.”

Drivers will benefit from the tire’s low road noise, which is achieved through advancements in pattern arrangement and computer optimization. For the Optimo H725A in particular, Hankook Tire utilizes its superior ‘Kontrol Technology’ platform to improve upon road performance with an emphasis on vehicle handling. Mr. Suh notes that, “By leveraging our Kontrol Technology in the development of UHP products, Hankook Tire is able to tailor its products to current environmental sustainability standards, and this in turn allows Hankook Tire to deliver quality products to our consumers.”

Through Hankook Tire’s global OE involvement with important customers such as VW, Mr. Suh says “Despite the current economic climate, I believe that Hankook Tire will be able to move forward to build upon the already steady growth of our OE fitment business, which is a vital element to Hankook’s long-term growth strategy. Our unwavering commitment and efforts toward long-term investment in research and development allows Hankook to deliver high-quality, high-performance tires that capture the attention of OEMs and consumers alike.”

In addition to Volkswagen, Hankook Tire has global fitments with Audi, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Navistar Inc. and Chrysler.

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, and high performance radial tires for passenger cars, 4x4, SUVs, light trucks, campers, trucks, buses and for automobile motorsport. It invests approximately five per cent 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.

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 Jeff Wandell
Director of Brand Communication Account Director Assistant Account Executive
Hankook Tire America Corp Weber Shandwick Weber Shandwick
Phone: 973-633-9000 x 531 Phone: 248-203-8112 Phone: 248-203-8096
wbainbridge@hankooktireusa.com ckamerad@webershandwick.com jwandell@webershandwick.com

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