Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has opened its European winter tire test facility named Technotrac in Ivalo, Finland. The new rest center is located about 185 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The company stated that the opening of its new tire testing center is meant to prove that winter tires meant for the European market are not only developed and manufactured in Europe but are also tested under real European conditions.
The new testing facility comprises flat tracks which will be used for testing braking, traction and lateral stability on snow or ice in addition to two snow handling tracks for subjective tire evaluation, which have been specifically designed to cater to the needs of the leading vehicle brands in Germany like BMW and Audi. Other buildings on site include conference rooms, offices, a large cold-storage warehouse and state-of-the-art workshops.
Hankook said that the main reason it chose to build its new test center in Ivalo, making it the most northerly winter tire test facility in the world were due to the stable and prolonged winter conditions in the town. Hankook outsourced the construction of the facility to the Finnish company Test World Oy.
Hankook expects to use Technotrac to secure its own original technology by using it as the base for strengthening its focus on applied research, including new material technology, winter tire pattern and profile. The facilities are also big and sophisticated enough to facilitate over two thousand sets of tire evaluations, increasing the accuracy of test conditions for winter tires. The facility will also serve to cater faster to the needs of original equipment demand and the customers in the European market.
Hankook already has a history of strong research and development in order to maintain technology leadership in the global market and the Ivalo facility will strengthen the company’s edge in this regard. The tire manufacturer has consistently invested heavily in research and development in order to improve its innovative technology, and has successfully obtained a number of OE fitments in recent years due to the top-tier technology and superior quality of its products.
Speaking about Technotrac, Seung-Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook said that it attests to the company’s strong global competitiveness through technology leadership. He added that the company will continue to acquire more advanced research and development capabilities to reinforce its positioning as a global premium tire brand in order to proactively face rapid changes in the business environment proactively and to deliver products optimized for a wide range of customer needs.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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