SEOUL, South Korea—South Korea's Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is looking to extend its technical partnership with Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. to include supplying the Japanese tire maker with original equipment tires from its Chinese factories, Kumho disclosed recently.
The companies have been co-developing “next-generation” tires after entering into a strategic research and development alliance in May last year.
“Negotiations are underway on issues including specifications, volume and start of shipment,” Kumho said in a news release. “We will consider gradually expanding shipment volume depending on orders secured by our plants in China and the demand for OEM products.
“We can start delivery as early as this year, if we make rapid progress on the negotiations.”
Kumho Tire Co.'s new $90 million research and development center is in Yongin City, South Korea, in the greater Seoul metro area.
Kumho said the deal, which is yet to be finalized, would help it raise utilization rates of its plants in China.
“Amid concerns that this year might see global tire makers struggling to fill idle capacity in China with U.S. authorities expected to slap anti-dumping duties on tires made in China, Kumho could use the potential OEM deal to bolster its ties with Yokohama as well as to increase the utilization of its Chinese factories,” the Korean company said.