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Kumho celebrates 50 years of innovation

Kumho Tires recently honoured its 50th anniversary with celebratory events in the South Korean capital, Seoul, and at its factory in Gwang-ju. The company has come a long way since its foundation in 1960, with daily production rising from 20 tyres to 180,000 (or 65 million per annum) units from eight plants spread between Korea, China and Vietnam.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
20 Sep 2010

Fifty years may be a long time in business, but Kumho is nevertheless one of the youngest of the world’s top tyre manufacturers, which makes its achievements to date all the more remarkable. They include being:

One of the first to develop run-flat tyres for the replacement market
The first to produce 15 Series tyres, 32in tyres for SUVs, Coloured smoke tyres for drifting
The first to be awarded the Nordic Swan Eco-Label as well as notching up almost a decade of OE supply to such top European car marques as Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

Renowned for its innovation, Kumho is always exploring the boundaries of tyre technology and is, for example, one of only five companies worldwide qualified to produce and export aircraft tyres. Ever the developer of new automotive tyre concepts, it recently received two major accolades for its cutting edge laser etching process – Tire Technology International’s ‘Tire manufacturing and Design Innovation of the Year Award’ and an iF Product Design award.

Kumho also leads the field in the production of concept tyres for concept cars and its products have featured on such recent show stoppers as the Nissan Qazana and the futuristic Mazda Furai.

The company is a serious player in international motorsport and has been a world leading producer of tyres for F3 since 2001. Indeed, no less than 10 of today’s F1 drivers laid the foundations of their careers by competing and winning on Kumho’s slick racing tyres. Kumho can also boast a recent class win at Le Mans and a string of rally victories at both national and world levels.

The company long ago recognized the benefits of premium sports marketing and, in addition to its wide-ranging motorsport commitments, is in the fourth full year of its successful platinum partnership with the world’s most famous football club – Manchester United; the fruits of which include an innovative football skills and road safety campaign for young people called ‘Play Safer’.

Speaking at the Gwang-ju celebration event earlier this month, Jong-Ho Kim, the company’s CEO said, “We should look back with pride at our achievements to date and, based upon this, look positively towards the future and the successful accomplishment of the next 50 years.” He went on to thank employees of all levels for their contribution in making Kumho the truly global tyre supplier it has become.

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