Hankook Tire has secured a stepping stone to the top position in the electric vehicle (EV) tire market by collaborating with Tesla, the world's largest electric car maker.
According to Inside EV, a U.S. electric vehicle media outlet, on September 17, Tesla sold 17,800 units of the Model 3 in the United States in August. The figure was the highest ever since the launch of the model in July of last year. Its sales exceeded 10,000 units for two consecutive months including July (14,250 units).
The Model 3 is the best-selling electric car in the United States this year. The model has kept the number one position. Its share in July and August hit 48.28% and 48.93%, respectively, meaning that it accounted for about half of electric cars sold a month in the U.S.
This has been also good news to Hankook Tire. Hankook Tire was selected as a major tire supplier for the Model 3 in 2015. Tesla is reported to have selected Hankook Tire products after testing them with tire samples from other tire companies. Electric vehicle tires require considerable technological excellence because they have to have less resistance than conventional ones. In fact Tesla received 21-inch tires for the high-end Model S from Continental and 19-inch tires for the same model from Goodyear and Michelin. These tire makers are leaders in the world tire industry.
Accordingly, Hankook Tire seized the opportunity not only to develop new sales channels but to have its technological prowess recognized in the electric vehicle tire market. Tesla plans to expand the sales of the Model 3 to markets beyond the U.S. beginning next year. The automaker will also produce models with the driver’s seats on the right, which hints at the possibility of Tesla electric vehicles arriving in the U.K. and Japan. Tesla received 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 in less than a month since its first public showcase in March of last year.
As for Hankook Tire, the tire manufacturer turned a misfortune into a blessing after its products were shunned by Hyundai Motor. Hyundai and Kia are loading their green cars, the Ioniq and Niro, respectively, with Michelin products. The two Korean carmakers decided to develop tires for next-generation models with Michelin, which means that there is a slim possibility that Korean tire manufacturers will receive orders from them.