KOREA (SOUTH): Major tire makers vie to attract global high-end brands

As the quality of domestically made tires is proven competitive enough in overseas markets, the potential has increased for domestic tire makers to expand their overseas markets.

In particular, domestic tire makers are focusing more on premium-class new cars since the supply of original equipment tires for such car model can contribute to enhancing their brand recognition and securing stable repurchase demand, thereby helping obtain a stable earnings base.

Hankook Tire, for example, while passing the 1-trillion-won level (USD 927.4 million) in operating profit last year, first in industry, achieved the right to supply original equipment tires for Germany's three major luxury brands, including Mercedes-Benz New S Class and BMW New 5 Series, last year.

Source: "The Korea Economic Daily", Seoul; 30 Jan 2014

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)