South Korean firm Hankook is the seventh largest tyre maker in the world. It supplies tyres as original equipment to many car companies such as Hyundai and Toyota.
Hankook’s story began in 1941 when it was founded as the Chosun Tire Company and was one of the pioneers of industrialisation in the country in the post-war period. The change to the Hankook name arrived in 1953 and the company enjoyed rapid expansion throughout the 1950s and ’60s. All of its tyres were destined for the home market to begin with and the first exports were to Pakistan in 1962.
The 1980s saw more growth and Hankook’s huge Daejeon factory was now sending tyres all over the world and earning the company a reputation for quality and performance. New research and development facilities were built in China, Germany and the USA during the 1990s and the firm became a supplier for new Volkswagen models in 1991.
Hankook now produces tyres in Hungary for the European market and is regarded as one of the best in the business. It has supplied tyres to the German Touring Car Championship and its Kontrol Technology is used in every tyre it makes to deliver comfort, safety and strong environmental performance.