SEOUL, South Korea (Dec. 12, 2011)—Toyota Motor Corp. has approved Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. as a tire supplier for the iQ, its micro-premium car sold in Asia and Europe, according to Hankook.
This marks Hankook's first OE contract with Toyota, the world's No. 1 car company.
Hankook is supplying tires in the dimension 175/65R15 84S, but the tire maker did not say which line Toyota will use for the two-door, four-seat hatchback mini-car.
The contract is the culmination of years of discussions with Toyota, Hankook said. The tires for the iQ will be built at Hankook's Geumsan, South Korea, plant.
“We were successful in demonstrating the high quality of our products in the global OE market, achieved through continuous efforts and commitment towards R&D,” said Woo Byung-Il, vice president of Hankook's global OE division.
The car will be sold in the U.S. under Toyota's Scion badge, albeit in limited numbers targeted primarily at customers in large metropolitan areas, starting on the West Coast, then the Gulf Coast and later the East Coast.
The iQ sits on a 78.7-inch wheel base and is powered by Toyota's 16-valve, 1.3-liter alloy engine, combined with a continuously variable transmission. There's no room for a spare tire, so the iQ comes with a can of flat-fixer and three years of roadside assistance.