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Ford awards Hankook with Explorer fitment

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Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. is taking its partnership with Ford Motor Co. to a new height -- 20 inches.

Hankook will supply the 2011 Ford Explorer with Hankook Optimo H426 luxury performance touring all-season tires in size P255/50HR20. The Optimo features 20% lower rolling resistance than its predecessor.

“This latest OE fitment for the 2011 Ford Explorer shows Hankook’s commitment to vehicle manufacturers and consumers alike,” says Soo Ill Lee, CEO and president of Hankook Tire America Corp. “Our relationship with Ford and our other OE partners is a key component of our brand strategy in North America.”

Hankook holds nearly 4% of the OE consumer tire market share in the United States and Canada, according to the 2011 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue.

“We believe that our unwavering commitment and continuous efforts toward R&D investment to produce high quality products will in turn allow Hankook to become one of the top tier tire companies that captures the attention of premium car manufacturers,” adds Woo Byung-Il, vice president of Hankook Tire Co.'s global OE division.

Hankook has been supplying OE tires to Ford models (including the F-150, Edge, Flex, Mondeo and Fusion) since 2003. The company says it has "continued to maintain its excellent partnership with Ford through fitment agreement expansion."

Hankook previewed the Optimo H426 at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show last November. The tire's rib-block design helps minimize vibration, and employs an optimized lateral groove width to generate the least possible noise.

The tire's groove design and  V-shaped unidirectional pattern improve its wet weather capabilities. It will be available to retail tire dealers in the second quarter of 2011.

For more information on Hankook and its products, visit www.hankooktireusa.com.

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