Korea's Hankook Tire expects its new plant in Hungary to acquire an ISO certificate allowing it to become a direct supplier to car makers by the end of the year.
When the plant gets the certificate, it will start supplying the Kia plant in Slovakia and the Hyundai plant in the Czech Republic, CEO Seung Hwa Suh said in Thursday's issue of Hungarian daily Népszabadság.
A project that will double capacity of the Hungarian plant from the current 5 million tires a year will finish in 2010, and the plant will start deliveries to Ford, Renault and Volkswagen too, he added.
Seung Hwa Suh announced in Seoul earlier that Hankook will start supplying tires for some Audi models, starting with deliveries to Audi's plant in China. The order is the company's first for premium vehicles.
Chang Won Park, Hankook Tire's deputy-chairman in charge of deliveries, said the agreement to supply Audi does not include its TT models, which are assembled in Hungary.
Hankook tires are sold mainly in South Korea and in Germany. (MTI – Econews)