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Hankook Tire Partners with LANXESS for High-Performance Tyre Technology Development

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Feb 27, 2014: Hankook Tire, the leading and one of the fastest growing tyre companies in the world, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on February 26th for the formation of strategic technological partnership with LANXESS, the world’s largest synthetic rubber supplier, to co-develop synthetic rubber technologies for high-performance tyres. Under this agreement, the two companies will jointly study the development of new high-performance synthetic rubber grades and applications, which will increase the performance of tyres from early stages of product development.

Targeted at the fast-growing high-performance tyre market, this agreement builds upon an ongoing close partnership between Hankook Tire and LANXESS.

The initial partnership began in 2008 for the supply of core materials for high-performance tyres such as solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) and neodymium performance butadiene rubber (Nd-PBR). The newly established technical partnership will strengthen ties between the two companies and expand the collaboration areas in the development of core synthetic rubber solutions for high-performance tyres.

This form of technical partnership represents part of Hankook Tire’s continued R&D efforts. Coupled with the company’s investment for a new Central R&D Center and a Test Engineering Center in Korea, this additional R&D effort based on a far more interactive knowledge sharing with the partner company is expected to accelerate Hankook Tire’s pursuit to further advance its technological prowess beyond competition.

Dr. Sang Ju Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Global R&D at Hankook Tire, said: “Based on our proven technological excellence, Hankook Tire has been focusing on the high-performance tyre sector and has made continuous R&D and investment efforts as part of our pathway towards becoming a global top-tier tyre company.” He also added, “Our continued R&D efforts with this technical partnership will further contribute to solidify our position as a global premium tire maker with even more advanced tyre technology.”

Dr. Joachim Grub, Head of the LANXESS Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit, said, "LANXESS has a strong reputation for sophisticated and customized R&D efforts and ‘innovation' as its key driving force. In this new technical partnership, we will assist Hankook Tire to achieve a key position as a global tyre company of high-quality products based on leading-edge technologies."

LANXESS, the world’s largest synthetic rubber supplier, provides high-performance synthetic rubbers to leading global tyre companies. Last October, the company launched two new easy processing Nd-PBR rubber grades - Buna Nd 22 EZ and Buna Nd 24 EZ – aimed the fast-growing high-performance tires market, especially in Asia.