When you think of leading tyre brands, the chances are that Goodyear and Michelin are among the first that come to mind. It’s no surprise really, given that they have been synonymous with tyres for over a century. Another brand that springs to mind is Dunlop, founded in Ireland in 1889 and famous for the once iconic Fort Dunlop in Birmingham. One newer brand that has emerged over the last few decades to become a market leader is Hankook Tyres, who you may recognise as primary sponsors of the UEFA Europa League. So who are Hankook and what is the story behind them? Read on to learn more.
A Korean giant
Although Hankook tyres are a reasonably new addition to the British market in comparison to brands such as Goodyear and Michelin who have both enjoyed being the first choice for drivers for over a century, the brand actually has a rich history. The Hankook corporation was established in South Korea in 1941, and the name ‘Hankook’ actually translates as ‘Korea’ – so the name essentially means ‘The Korean Tyre Company’.Despite their pedigree back at home, it was only in the 1980s – 1990s that Hankook really began to extend its reach and push into the European market. It was a deal with Volkswagen in 1991 to supply OEM tires that saw them enter the mainstream as a respected manufacturer.
Leaders in technology
Although relatively new to customers here in the UK and Europe, since first entering the market a couple of decades ago Hankook Tyres have firmly established themselves as technological leaders. They boast a state of the art tyre distribution centre in Europe, and their new tyre production plant built in Hungary in 2006 is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the world.
In 2011 Hankook Tyres started building advanced production facilities in Chongqing, China, and Bekasi, Indonesia to celebrate their 70th anniversary, and in 2017 they opened their Tennessee production plant in the USA, which is now home to their world-renowned central research and development centre.
Partners for performance
Since beginning production in Europe, Hankook tyres have become the tyre of choice for several manufacturers of performance cars, including BMW and Mercedes Benz, both of whom now use Hankook as the manufacturer of OEM tyres.
Hankook’s reputation for performance tyres has also been firmly established through their position as the official tyre supplier for the German Touring Cars Masters (DTM), the largest Motorsports competition in the world. The DTM is an intense international racing competition where premium German car brands Audi, BMW, and the British brand Aston Martin compete to showcase their automotive technologies and driving skills.
Hankook tyres are also associated with the Formula European Masters, the 24H GT Series, The Supercar Challenge and British F4.
For the best prices on Hankook tyres and other leading brands, get in touch with Tyreland now. We stock a fantastic range of premium and budget tyres and have fitting shops located throughout Dublin, meaning we are never far away. As well as our attractive prices, you are sure to be impressed by our exceptional customer service. To enquire about stock or to find your nearest location, call today on 01 860 20 20.