Hankook tyres have announced plans to increase its annual research spending to 12.5 million euros. This money will be used to fund research into eco-friendly tyre technology.
Environmental friendliness is high on the agenda for all tyre producers, and Hankook’s announcement is a reflection of that fact. All the major tyre companies are vying with one another to develop low rolling-resistance tyres in an attempt to cut fuel consumption. The other area of concern is to develop sustainable, eco-friendly systems for tyre production.
This new figure represents an increase of 350 percent on the Korean tyre giant’s annual spending on R&D. The sum represents 0.5 percent of Hankook’s annual revenue. The company’s commitment to environmentally friendly tyres and tyre production was further highlighted by the prominence given to their eco-tyre, the Optimo 4S, at the recent tyre fair in Essen. (See ETyres News 20.6.08)
In the immediate future Hankook is looking forward to the international launch of its newest tyre, known as the enfren range. This tyre utilizes a new silica compound and structure in order to optimize low rolling-resistance. These new features are referred to as “Kontrol Technology” which, the Koreans claim, can reduce fuel consumption by 16 percent.
Speaking of the new tyre and the research funding announcement Executive Vice President and European COO, Seung-Do Jin, said, “Our goal is to develop tyres that offer maximum environmental protection without compromising quality, performance and safety. This is the central concept behind Kontrol Technology. “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 tyres.”