Every so often, we like to draw attention to less well-known tyre companies making great products. We’re talking about the sort of manufacturers that car enthusiasts know, but the wider public might not. A few months back, we blogged about the excellent GT Radial. Another such company is Hankook Tire.
If there was a Pointless-style question on naming tyre companies, we reckon Hankook would be a super-low scorer. Which is strange considering that this South Korean giant is the 7th largest tyre manufacturer in the world.
In fact, Hankook currently employs around 21,000 people in over 30 countries, and its tyres are distributed to over 180 countries. Sales are an eye-watering $6.4 billion a year, and the company has ambitious plans for further growth.
Tough beginnings to global reach
To say Hankook faced a difficult start is an understatement. The company, originally the Chosun Tire Company, was founded in 1941. At that time, not only was Korea occupied by Japan, but 5 million Koreans had been conscripted as labourers — often in harsh conditions. After WWII came partition of Korea and the devastation of the Korean War.
But the industrialisation of South Korea was unstoppable, and Hankook became part of that boom. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Hankook began extending its reach to other Asian countries and even into the Middle East. By the 1980s, Hankook were exporting to Europe and the USA.
A responsible company
Any multi-billion dollar company has some big responsibilities, such as having high standards of health and safety, protecting human rights in its supply chain, and lowering its environmental footprint. Increasingly, consumers want to know that their money is not going to an exploitative, unethical, environmentally unfriendly corporation.
In terms of corporate responsibility, Hankook is definitely one of the good guys. The company’s high standards were recognised recently by the Renault Group in their annual supplier awards. Hankook scooped the 2018 award for Purchasing Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility Award. Hankook was particularly praised for its social contribution.
That’s all great…but are Hankook tyres any good?
It’s all very well having an interesting history and wonderful ethics, but consumers also want a quality product at a reasonable cost. So within their price range, how do Hankook stack up?
The answer is ‘very well.’
Consumer advice organisation Which? — whose product reviews are among the most trusted in the UK — had this to say about Hankook:
Hankook tyres perform well enough to justify their high-end market positioning, with good grip and handling in both the wet and dry.
Read more at which.co.uk
Motoring experts have also praised Hankook. Earlier this year Auto Bild, one of Germany’s leading car magazines compared 51 different summer tyres in an independent product test. The Hankook Ventus Prime gained first place. This is the third year in a row that the Ventus range has achieved a top placing in the magazine’s tests.
The only disadvantage with Hankook is that, as Which? note, they can be harder to source. But there’s good news on that front…
Our range of Hankook tyres
BK Tyres currently stocks over 300 Hankook tyres. With our competitive prices and free fitment service at home or at work, they can make an excellent choice.
For all tyre advice, quotes or to book your car in for fitting, please get in touch. Don’t forget, we come to you at home or at work!