Hankook Tire & Technology Co., the world's sixth-largest tiremaker by sales, said Wednesday it began to supply tires for Audi's SQ8 TDI SUV in October.
Hankook Tire supplies the high-performance Ventus S1 evo 3 SUV tires for the high-performance SQ8 TDI SUV in the form of original equipment tires, the company said in a statement.
The company didn't give an exact time frame for the supply deal or the value of the deal.
The tiremaker has supplied OE tires to a variety of Audi models, including the Audi TT sports car, the RS5 coupe and RS4 Avante wagon, proving the quality of its tires in the global market, the statement said.
Supplying OE tires to car manufacturers does not generate much revenue for tiremakers but securing big companies as clients helps improve their brand image and can lead to the raising of product prices down the line.
For tiremakers, it is more profitable to sell replacement equipment tires in after-sales markets.
To enhance its global brand image, the tiremaker has shipped products to nearly 50 foreign carmakers, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
In the January-September period, Hankook's net profit fell 16 percent to 385 billion won ($323 million) from 457 billion won a year earlier.
Hankook Tire earns over 80 percent of its total revenue from abroad. It has eight plants -- two in South Korea, one in Hungary, one in the United States, three in China and one in Indonesia -- whose combined capacity reaches 102 million tires. (Yonhap)