Seoul – Hankook Tire & Technology has seen a 3.7% decline in third quarter operating profit to KRW180 billion (€135.6 million), the Korean tire maker announced 5 Nov.
Driven by premium tire sales, revenue for the three months to end of September rose 4.4% to KRW1,833 billion for the period.
Sales of premium products and larger tires, starting at 18 inches, accounted for 55% of passenger car tire sales – a 3% increase compared to the same period last year.
In particular, the tire maker noted “steadily growing sales” of ‘high-inch’ tires in major markets such as Korea, Europe, North America, and China.
Hankook, however, said consumer confidence had weakened due to the global economic downturn, causing intensified competition among tire makers and slowing down demand.
This, said the Korean company, has also affected the supply of OE tires and demand for replacement tires in major markets.
In response to growing demand in the global SUV market, Hankook said it had reinforced its portfolio of tires for these vehicles.
Recently, the company was awarded OE contracts for the Porsche’s Cayenne SUV, the new Audi Q8, and all-new 2020 Ford Explorer – a top-selling SUV in the US.
Hankook said it will focus on strengthening its position as a “premium” brand.
To this end, the tire maker said it will expand the competitiveness of its premium products, especially in segments with high growth potential.