The new global brand Laufenn is part of Hankook Tire’s global business strategy of sustainable market expansion and growth. Produced at Hankook’s factories in Hungary and Indonesia, a separate team is responsible for the design and development of these products.
Tailored for the European market, Laufenn products are designed to offer reliability, safety and an enjoyable driving experience, while tires produced under the Hankook name are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and aimed at the premium and OE fitment markets.
A Hankook spokesperson said, “By 2020 we expect to build Laufenn with a market share of at least 1% in all our major strategic markets, including Europe.”
All Laufenn tires are made with a tread compound containing silica in order to achieve low rolling resistance, high mileage and good EU label grades. A special rubber material enhances structural stability and provides improved durability. Meanwhile a reinforced cover belt also offers increased stiffness and stability. In addition, the square-shaped foot print design of the Laufenn tires provides better road contact.
Different tread designs and constructions have been considered individually for each model.
Laufenn was launched in 2014 in the USA and on the European market in 2015, with the initial three summer products available as of spring 2016
Development for the tires, which takes place at the European Technical Center in Hanover, Germany (below right), predominantly adopts the same process.
According to Hankook, simulation focused on the design of the carcass, tire footprint, road noise, tread wear, and durability, respectively.
“We have also conducted road tests on tracks simulating a diversity of road surfaces from around the world. The current line-up has been tested for all the typical criteria at Hankook’s R&D and testing facilities in Korea and Europe.
“This includes rigorous lab tests focused on cornering performance, rolling resistance, foot print shape and dimensions on the flat track. We also test NVH performance including pattern noise, cleat impact, friction energy and indoor wear.
“The final round of performance tests are conducted on outdoor tracks where we assess both subjective (handling, comforts, etc) and objective (braking, wet traction, etc) aspects of tire performance,” the spokesperson said.
The tires were predominantly tested on a Volkswagen Golf, which is a particularly popular vehicle in the region.
For more information on the Laufenn brand click here and here.
Inside Hankook’s main R&D center in Daeduk Science Town, South Korea; inside noise measurement (below) and chemicals analysis (bottom)
June 29, 2016