In the automotive industry SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) Category growth continues throughout the day. In particular, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s 2019 automobile industry results, the total sales of domestic passenger cars last year were 15,18,000 units, of which about half were leisure vehicles including SUVs. In addition, last year, the annual number of exports of domestic SUVs hit a record high of 1476,000.
As such, SUV demand is rising rapidly in the world, and the area that is growing together is “tire”.
Above all, in the process of developing a new car, the tire is the last structure to support the body and an important part for driving, so depending on which tire is applied to the new car, the vehicle development performance will show a ‘difference’.
As a result, tire manufacturers have also been targeting domestic and foreign OET markets every year, and have increased their respective product characteristics. Recently, “Made in Korea” products have attracted attention in domestic and overseas markets.
Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd. (hereafter Hankook Tire) has also polished and polished its technology in the new car tire (OET) sector, especially the SUV tire market, which has become a ‘mainstream’.
Above all, the supply of OET is possible only when it meets various solutions and conditions requested by automakers in the process of developing new cars, and Hankook Tire has gained excellent evaluation in the sector.
In fact, Hankook Tire has been supplying tires for new cars to 46 finished car brands around the world, and about 320 cars, and has increased its status by signing new car tire supply contracts to the representative SUV models of these brands.
As a supply example for each model, in 2019, Porsche’s super premium SUV model 3rd generation ‘Cayenne’ was followed by a partnership with Porsche in 2015 to supply Porsche Macan’s OET, and Audi signed an OE supply to ‘The New Q8’ Following the signing, OET was also put on the high-performance model ‘New Audi SQ8 TDI’ of Q8 to prove the competitiveness of ‘Made in Korea’ products.
Since then, Audi ‘Q3’, ‘Q5’, ‘Q7’ and ‘SQ7’, as well as BMW’s representative mid-sized SUV model 3rd generation ‘New X3’, and Mercedes-Benz’s ‘GLC’, ‘GLC Coupe’, etc. Tires are worn on all brands.
As such, Hankook Tire has a competitive advantage over its products that have been depressed by Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, which are rumored to be hard.
In general, SUVs have a weight tolerance of several hundred kg or more and a high center of gravity compared to sedans, so tires with a higher load index and flatness ratio than tires for passenger cars must be installed.
Therefore, in addition to the basic machine that can withstand heavy loads, it must have both quick maneuverability and agile steering wheel steering response.
In addition, it is relatively vulnerable to safety accidents such as slippage and rollover during driving due to its high center of gravity compared to passenger cars, so it must also have a competitive edge in the safety sector of “ optimizing tire lateral force ” that prevents tires from slipping when cornering.
Hankook Tire, which has worked hard on these parts, has integrated technologies that optimize the ground plane that comes into contact with the road surface, and has enhanced tire driving performance so that the SUV feels as quiet and comfortable as a sedan.
An official from Hankook Tire said, “The trend of upgrading and increasing the size of SUV vehicles is continuing.” Watching this, we are consolidating our position in the global SUV tire market this year by steadily expanding our portfolio by focusing on the development of ultra-high-performance SUV tires over 18 inches. “We will strengthen our status as a premium brand in the global markets such as the Americas and Europe where SUVs are popular.” <손재철기자>