ERJ staff report (DS)
Neu-Isenburg, Germany -- Hankook Tire said it intends to make truck tyres at its plant in Hungary, â€œin the medium term.â€ There was no clarification of that ambition, except that the company issued a series of press releases ahead of the IAA show for Commercial vehicles indicating ambitious growth in the truck segment.
After listing its development of the tyre factory in in RÃ¡calmÃ¡s, Hungary, Hankook said, â€œFurther expansion of the facility and the inclusion of truck tyre production are planned for the medium term.â€
Hankook's business with truck tyres alone is expected to grow by about eight per cent by 2010/2011.
Two years ago, Hankook management told ERJ that its intentions for car tyres took priority over truck tyres in Europe, but that would not always be the case. It appears the company now intends to promote the truck business more vigorously.
Hankook said its European truck tyre sales grew by 1 percent in 2009, when the replacement market fell by almost 20 percent. This year the company expects strong and stable growth of about six and a half per cent in Europe. This contrasts with a market (European replacement truck tyres) growth in the year to August of over 25 percent.
Hankook said it currently holds 19.5 percent of the UK market for truck tyres, and growing. In Germany, the figure is five percent. The company claims a 15 per cent market share in Ireland and Sweden and about 12 percent in Finland.
At its European production site in RÃ¡calmÃ¡s, Hungary, 230 million euros are to be invested by 2011, and the annual tyre production will be doubled to more than 10 million tyres (Cars, Vans, SUVs and Light Trucks). Approximately 1,300 employees are currently producing 15,000 tyres daily in more than 300 different sizes at the factory, which only started operations in 2007.
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Press release from Hankook