TOKYO—Six tire makers recently earned the Good Design Award, an international design competition in Japan hosted by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization.
Winners are granted the G-Mark after being evaluated for their products' design, usability and innovative features. The award is given in five categories—product, space, media, system and solution. Of the winners, two —Kumho Tire Co. Inc. and Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.—each won awards for two different tires.
The six tire makers that earned the award for their tires under the “transportation equipment and industrial facility” sub-category, are:
- Bridgestone Corp.—for its REGNO GR-Leggera, exclusively designed for minicars, a category of small urban cars used widely in Japan. The tire uses silent technology to suppress pattern noise, a problem inherent to minicars.
- Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.—for its i*cept iZ2, a winter tire designed for performance and safe driving on various road surfaces in Nordic countries, Russia and Japan. It features two design types, symmetric and asymmetric, that are specialized to consider regional characteristics and driving conditions.
- Kumho Tire Co. Inc.—for two tires, the Eco Sense SE11 and the Solus HA31. The Eco Sense SE11 for the Japanese market is an environment-friendly tire made of light but highly robust semi-finished products, weighing 7 percent less than other comparable models and contributing to higher fuel economy. The Solus HA31, with all-season capabilities, features a directional pattern to improve driving performance.
- Nexen Tire Corp.—for its N'Blue HD PLUS eco-friendly tire with its Triple Eco System: Eco Design, Eco Compound and Eco Technology. It features improved drainage performance for wet roads during summer driving conditions and improved fuel efficiency.
- Nihon Michelin Tire Co. Ltd.—for the Pilot Sport 4 premium tire for luxury and sports cars.
- Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.—for two tires, the Tranpath ML and the Open Country R/T, an off-roading tire for rugged terrain.