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Hankook will invest $19 million in green R&D

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Hankook Tire Co. will spend more than $19 million a year on research and development efforts to boost the environmental friendliness of its tire technology.

"As Hankook looks to continue its growth globally -- and in the United States market in particular -- we realize our products moving forward need to deliver further fuel efficiency benefits to meet our customers' needs," says Hankook Tire America Corp. President Greg Pae.

Hankook's technical center in Akron, Ohio, "will work closely with Hankook's main R&D facilities in Korea to develop leading-edge technologies that will ultimately deliver the environmentally friendly tires more and more consumers will demand."

Bill Bainbridge, Hankook's director of brand communications, says Hankook products sold in the U.S. "are designed and manufactured with the goal of keeping rolling resistance at a minimum."

Hankook says it has invested $10.7 million into environmentally friendly tire technology over the past two-and-a-half years.

Earlier this year, Hankook introduced its new environmentall friendly tire, Enfren, to the South Korean market. It's considering making the tire available in other markets.

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