South Korea’s Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. plans to build its own European winter tire testing facility in Ivalo, Finland by December next year, the company said on Friday.
Hankook has recently signed a contract to build the facility with the Finnish tire testing company Test World Oy near the company’s existing facilities in Ivalo, around 180 miles north of the Polar Circle. Hankook’s designated proving ground area will incorporate new test tracks for different test situations and will be equipped with the necessary connecting and service roads.
Hankook’s investment in a proving ground area in the world's most northerly region is partly due to the increasingly varying conditions and weather in more southerly locations, such as Scandinavian or Alpine areas. Ivalo's location offers stable and long winter conditions, which extends the time available for testing, the company said.
“Hankook Tire constantly invests to enhance its competitiveness in the global market," says Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO. "With our improved technological capability and production facility based on our technology leadership management, Hankook Tire will acquire more robust, more advanced R&D capabilities to become a global top-tier tire brand.
“The new proving ground in Ivalo where various winter tests will be made shall boost effectiveness of our winter tires to provide maximum satisfaction to our customers.”
By Alex Lee
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