At the beginning of June, 50-year-old Matthias Bode (above) took over as head of Kumho’s European Technical Centre (KETC) in Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany. He is responsible for the development of all Kumho products for the European original equipment and replacement tire markets, and reports to M J Lee, senior vice president at the company’s global R&D center in Korea.
Bode brings a wealth of knowledge and contacts gained from over 30 years in the tire industry. Having qualified as an engineer, the expert began his career in 1995 in the development department of Dunlop in Hanau, since when he has held numerous positions within the Goodyear Dunlop group.
Until 2006 he focused on compound development and process optimization, and then for the next two years headed up that function at the Goodyear Technical Center in Akron, USA. After returning to Germany, Bode led the development of Dunlop’s winter tires and it was under his leadership that products such as the Winter Sport 4D and Winter Response 2 were developed, plus several OE fitments for BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. From 2012 he moved into other executive positions focusing on material and compound technologies for both winter and summer tires.
His last position at Goodyear Dunlop was that of senior manager of compound development for the EMEA, Asia Pacific region at the group’s Luxembourg and Hanau facilities.
Roberto Sangalli (below), a 52-year-old former Goodyear Dunlop employee, joined at the same time as Bode to fulfill the role of manager for tire engineering at the KETC. Prior to his tenure at Goodyear Dunlop, Sangalli spent 20 years at Pirelli, where he was responsible for the development of tires for Formula 1, GP2, GP3, and all GT series, from 2015 to 2017.
Bode commented, “My new job will be exciting and challenging. Following a number of key changes, it was time for a new start at the KETC. Kumho has fantastic technical capabilities, which we will utilize and further optimize, courtesy of the existing staff, plus new highly-qualified colleagues like Roberto Sangalli. This combined expertise will greatly assist the development of competitive and market-driven products for our partners in the OE and replacement markets.”