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(LEAD) Hankook Tire supplies threads for BMW M4 GT4 racing car

All Headlines 14:32 June 09, 2017

(ATTN: CORRECTS dataline)

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- Hankook Tire Manufacturing Co., the world's seventh-biggest tiremaker by sales, said Friday it has begun exclusively supplying threads for BMW's M4 GT4 racing car.

BMW Motorsport has selected Hankook Tire's Ventus Race tires as original equipment (OE) for the M4 GT4 equipped with a 3.0-liter turbo engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the company said in a statement.

The new BMW M4 GT4 made its debut in the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in Germany last month, running on the Hankook's high-performance tires.

"We look forward to seeing the vehicle racing successfully at the hands of our customer racing teams in 2018. We are relying on Hankook's performance and expertise here too," BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt said in a statement Tuesday.

This undated photo provided by Hankook Tire shows the BMW M4 GT4 racing car equipped with the company's high-performance tires. (Yonhap)

To enhance its brand image in global markets, the tiremaker has shipped products to 45 foreign carmakers, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porshe.

Supplying OE tires to car manufacturers does not make much money for tiremakers but securing luxury carmakers as clients helps improve their brand images and raise product prices down the line.

For tiremakers, it is more profitable to sell replacement equipment (RE) tires in after-sale markets.

Last year, Hankook Tire sold a total of 99 million tires produced at its nine plants -- two in South Korea, three in China, one in Hungary, one in Indonesia and one in the United States.

Hankook Tire earns 30 percent of its total sales from OE tire sales, with the remaining 70 percent coming from RE tire sales.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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