Hankook Tire to Build Global Sixth Plant in China

Hankook Tire launches KINERGY ECO,
heralding a new era in the tyre segment in Europe
State-of-the-art passenger car tyre concept already accommodates future standards
Fuel efficiency through significantly lower rolling resistance
Anti-vibration technology delivers comfort and efficiency
Neu-Isenburg, 21 February 2011 – Hankook Tire has developed the next generation in advanced
passenger car tyre concepts. The KINERGY ECO line of tyres combines state-of-the-art Hankook tyre
technology in the areas of safety, handling, and comfort with the environmental consciousness that is
becoming an increasingly important criterion for today’s vehicles. KINERGY is the abbreviation for
Kinetic Energy, or energy of motion (from the Greek kinesis, or movement) – the energy that an object
possesses due to its motion. It is equivalent to the amount of work required to accelerate from a state of
rest to a state of motion.
In the case of the new Hankook tyre, that amount is considerably lower than with conventional tyres in this
class. The ECO part of the name is intended as guidance for the consumer, evoking both ecology and
economy at the same time and connecting the tyre’s environmentally conscious and economical – meaning
fuel-saving – characteristics to benefit both the natural environment and consumers’ pocketbooks.
With the new KINERGY ECO, Hankook Tire successfully brings off an impressive balancing act. By
combining the very latest materials, like silica nanoparticles, which are thus far uncommon in this
segment, and cutting-edge compound technologies, Hankook has been able to reduce the rolling resistance
of the KINERGY ECO by 12 percent as compared to conventional tyres currently available on the market.
The energy savings is reflected in lower fuel consumption, thereby contributing to an improved overall
CO2 footprint. At the same time, this versatile all-rounder really shines in safety-related disciplines, such
as wet braking, and offers about eight percent shorter stopping distances by comparison to other tyres in its
“To us, the KINERGY ECO heralds the dawn of a new era in tyres,” explains Jin-Wook Choi, Executive
Vice-President and European head of Hankook Tire. “Our society’s values have changed a great deal in
recent years. People are more environmentally conscious in their thinking and their actions, and they want
their tyres to also offer better fuel economy, but without sacrificing safety and driving comfort. In the
KINERGY ECO, we have succeeded in creating this combination. But it is also clear that the safety of our
consumers remains our top priority. We make no compromises on safety.”
The balanced, asymmetrical tread significantly enhances the tyre’s handling. At the same time, the
optimized tread design of the KINERGY ECO not only delivers better handling properties, but also makes
driving more comfortable and quieter on the whole. Optimally arranged, wide longitudinal grooves offer
effective protection from hydroplaning. Self-sharpening tread block edges also ensure the necessary grip
on both wet and dry driving surfaces. Wider shoulder blocks and an enlarged contact area improve traction
and stability in curves, even at high speeds, on a dry surface.
In 2008, Hankook Tire began following its H-LOHAS (Hankook Lifestyle Oriented Health and
Sustainability) philosophy, which involves not only the development of sustainable, environmentally
friendly products like the new KINERGY ECO, but also social and environmental responsibility. Thus it is
no surprise that the new tyre concept from Hankook Tire has already been developed with an eye to the
requirements of the EU tyre label. The tyre label, which will be rolled out in all 27 EU member countries
under a directive passed by the European Commission, is set to bring new transparency to the European
tyre market starting in November 2012. The new labels will draw drivers’ attention to products that have
especially low rolling resistance and low noise but are also especially safe, with high grip under wet
* Kontrol Technology
Derived from the English terms Kinetic (for movement) and Control (for control), Hankook Tire Kontrol
Technology reflects the best possible controllability of the interaction between the driver, the vehicle and
the road by the tyres during the journey. Kontrol Technology has been developed in order to provide the
vehicle driver with all currently available benefits of the latest Hankook tyre technology in terms of safety,
driving characteristics, comfort and environmental compatibility.
Technical characteristics of the Hankook KINERGY ECO (K425):
1. Vibration Control Technology for enhanced comfort
- Optimized profile block stiffness minimizes undesired block movements.
The result: considerably better rolling comfort.
- Development of heat within the tyre is also reduced, which reduces the amount of change in the
tyre’s properties during the journey.
2. Semi-rib design enhances dry performance
- Asymmetrical tread design with closed tread rib placed in the area of
the outside shoulder of the asymmetric pattern, combined with a large contact area, ensures
driving stability and enhanced dry handling.
3. High grip on wet surfaces
- Self-sharpening block edges grip the road surface for outstanding wet braking values
(-8% as compared to conventional tyres).
- Wide longitudinal tread grooves provide effective protection against hydroplaning.
Environmentally friendly properties
New compound technologies and use of silica nanoparticles reduce rolling
resistance (-12% as compared to conventional tyres) while also ensuring
considerably better wet grip.
5. Available sizes
- The Hankook KINERGY ECO is currently available in 38 dimensions, from 14 to 16 inches (series 70
to 50) for vehicles ranging from mini and compact cars to the upper mid-sized class in tread widths of
155 to 215 mm (speed ratings T, H and V). Some are available in an extra load version.
About Hankook Tire
Hankook Tire is one of the world's largest and fastest growing tyre manufacturers for innovative, highquality and high-performance radial tyres for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, trucks, and buses as
well as motorsports (circuit racing/rallies). The company invests some five percent of its revenues in
R&D every year. Their five Research and Development labs in Korea, Germany, USA, China and Japan
develop the very latest in market-specific, customised and innovative technologies. They greatly contribute
in providing optimal tyre solutions designed to meet the regional requirements and demands of their
customers. Hankook Tire employs more than 14,000 employees worldwide and sells its products in more
than 180 countries. Internationally leading car manufacturers rely on tyres made by Hankook Tire for their
original equipment. About 70 percent of Hankook's income is generated by sales outside Korea.
Hankook Tires European headquarters are located in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main. The company
has branches in Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary, Russia, Turkey,
Sweden and Poland. Hankook products are sold directly through regional distributors in other European
countries. The importance that Hankook Tire attaches to the European market is reflected in its decision to
invest more than 500 million Euros in the construction of a production facility in Hungary, which went
into operation in June 2007. Here, more than 1,300 employees produce more than 15,000 tyres a day (this
amounts to more than five million tyres a year) for passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks in more than 300
different sizes. The state-of-the-art facility produces customised products and original equipment tyres for
the European market in line with the specifications of leading European automobile manufacturers.
Following the second stage of expansion which started in 2009, the Hungarian facility should be able to
produce more than ten million tyres per year when operating at full capacity.
For more information please visit www.hankooktire-press.com
Felix Kinzer
Director Public Relations Europe
Hankook Tire Europe GmbH
Siemensstr. 5a
D-63263 Neu-Isenburg
Fon: +49 (0) 61 02 8149 – 170
Fax: +49 (0) 61 02 8149 – 200
Stefanie Weinelt
Public Relations
Hankook Tire Europe GmbH
Siemensstr. 5a
D-63263 Neu-Isenburg
Fon: +49 (0) 61 02 8149 – 171
Fax: +49 (0) 61 02 8149 – 200