Hankook Tire America Corp. will continue to build brand value in the United States with the help of new products -- both consumer and commercial -- and its sports marketing initiatives.
At the Hankook Tire Dealer Meeting in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, the company shared new product details with attendees. Two additions to the Ventus family were among the highlights.
1. Ventus V2 Concept. The ultra-high performance tire is a "base" tire designed with economy and comfort in mind, according to Bill Bainbridge, Hankook's director of brand communications. It features special compounding designed to extend tread life and improve snow traction. It will be available in 22 sizes in June or July, ranging from 195/50HR15 to 225/50VR17. Eight sizes are designated extra-load, including 225/40HR18 XL and 215/45HR18 XL.
2. Ventus V4ES H105. Both the Ventus V120 evo, introduced in 2007, and the V4ES are UHP tires. However, the V4ES is targeting the ultra-high performance all-season tire segment.
3. Optimo H724. The all-season passenger tire, previewed at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, Nev., last November, initially will become available in nine sizes in the March/April time frame. By the end of June, 30 more sizes will be introduced. The sizes -- 26 are blackwall, 13 are whitewall -- range from P175/70TR13 to P215/65TR17.
Five new medium truck tires will be introduced in 2010. One, the DL07, is available now; the others will be available in the third quarter. They will be manufactured in four sizes: 11R22.5, 11R24.5, 295/75R22.5 and 285/75R24.5.
4. DL07. The long-haul drive tire will "gradually" replace the DL01, according to Hankook. It features superior tread traction, a 31/32-inch deep tread depth and a new sidewall design. Available in four popular sizes, it targets the Michelin XDA5, Goodyear G372A and Bridgestone M726EL as competitive tires.
5. DL11. The long-haul drive tire is SmartWay certified and features a new fuel efficiency tread compound. It will compete directly against the Michelin XDA3, Goodyear 305LHD and Bridgestone M720F in the marketplace.
6. AL11. The long-haul steer tire, also SmartWay certified, features a new fuel efficiency tread compound, "enhanced" decoupling groove and a new sidewall design. It will be marketed against the Michelin XZA3, Goodyear G395LHS and Bridgestone R287.
7. DH06. The regional-haul drive tire has a premium open shouder design, a 28/32-inch tread depth and wide tread grooves. It will compete against the Michelin XDE, Goodyear G182RSD and Bridgestone M725.
8. AH24. The regional-haul all-position tire helps promote long life with new compounding and an extra-wide and deep tread pattern. It will compete against the Michelin XZE2, Goodyear G661HSA and Bridgestone R260F.
Hankook also announced that it has signed marketing agreements with 11 Major League Baseball stadiums to show its name and logo on signage behind home plate. Hankook signage, which has been displayed during televised baseball games since 2001, will appear in the home parks of the New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates (half a season), Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers (half a season), Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.
In addition, Hankook signage will be displayed courtside at four NCAA stadiums and four National Basketball Association stadiums.