It was a difficult birth. As regular visitors to this site are well aware, Qingdao Doublestar Co Ltd.’s acquisition of Kumho Tire was punctuated by more than its share of complications: Threats of mass resignations, bickering over brand name use and questions about financing all belonged to the experience.
ATLANTA—Kumho has promoted Yong-Sik Shin to a newly created role as head of its America Business Division, overseeing the company’s three main businesses in North America.
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.
Baek, who was elected at the association’s 60th annual general meeting on May 15, has a range of experience in the polymer industry from roles he has had in technical, marketing and sales areas, in addition to senior management positions he has held.
Effective 1 May, Woongchul Shin has taken on the role of general manager at Kumho Tire Europe, and as such is responsible for Kumho’s business in the German market. He succeeds Namwook Jung, who has relocated to Milan to head the Kumho Tyre Italia operation.
Kumho Tire Canada recently announced that it has made improvements to its studdable WinterCraft Ice Wi31 tire by increasing the number of spikes on it.
The change has been made for two of the tire’s main sizes. For size 195/65R15 (04L / XLL), the number of spikes has been increased from 150 to 200. Similarly, for size 205/55R16 (04L / XLL) the number of spikes is now 200 instead of the earlier 150.
Kumho Tire has recently announced the launch of its “premium” tire specifically designed for sports utility vehicles.
Designed for CUVs and SUVs, the newly launched Crugen HP71 is an all-season tire. In a release by the company, Kumho Tire affirms that the tire has been developed to offer a top-luxurious feel and a comfortable and quiet ride along with a level of safety, performance and longevity.
South Korea’s second-largest tyre manufacturer, after Hankook Tire, said the reason for delisting its 76,034 shares traded on the LSE was to cut costs as financial losses continued to accumulate last year. The move would leave Seoul as the only market where its shares will be openly traded.
Kumho reported an operating loss of KRW89.9 billion (US$79 million) in 2018, with the fourth quarter marking the eighth consecutive quarter of financial losses for the company. Weak performance in the replacement market was given as the main reason for the losses.
Kumho Tire has appointed Jeon Dae-jin, currently senior executive vice president, as the new CEO.
During his 35-year tenure with Kumho, Jeon has held various leadership roles in compound research, technology development and bolstered the manufacturing process in an effort to increase productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Kumho Tire has been struggling appoint new company leadership after its previous chairman left following Doublestar’s purchase of the company.
According to Kumho Tire, the company will not appoint a new chairman at its pre-scheduled March shareholders meeting. Vice president Jeon Dae-jin will continue as the acting CEO in the interim.
Local news reports cite Kumho insiders as saying that Doublestar is working on finding a suitable candidate, but is “struggling” to find someone with the right combination of skill. According to the reports, in December Doublestar offered the role to former Korea Development Bank (KDB) senior vice president Lee Dae-hyun, but he declined following opposition from Kumho Tire’s union.