Hankook is expanding its support beyond the product with a series of warranty programs in 2018.
Hankook Tire plans to streamline product ordering and improve delivery time to its dealer network. Also, Hankook will be introducing several warranty programs to boost consumer confidence and improve brand recognition.
“Hankook has made significant efforts to improve its brand recognition to date through hockey board signage, and sponsorships. As our brand perception continues to improve, we will move our position into tier one,” explains John Overing, Hankook Tire’s new Director of Sales and Marketing in Canada.
Overing will oversee the region’s sales team and will be instrumental in identifying opportunities for growth within the Canadian market. He joins the company with more than 18 years of experience in the tire industry, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and industry expertise. Before joining Hankook Tire, Overing held senior-level positions at Yokohama Tire, Michelin North America, and some of the largest distributors in Canada.
“Consumers currently see Hankook as a tier-two brand, so in the coming years we need to move into the top, and I believe we have some products that will transition us to tier one,” adds Overing.
“Consumers currently see Hankook as a tier-two brand, so in the coming years we need to move into the top. I believe we have some products that will transition us to tier one.” John Overing, Director of Sales and Marketing in Canada, Hankook Tire
“If you look at the industry in general, you see a compression regarding quality. All the significant players in the Canadian market have significantly improved their product offering, so there is less difference regarding quality,” says Overing. “I think we will continue to see this happening. Tires are going to continue to evolve, but regarding overall performance and quality, we see this compression where the differences between brand A and brand B are not as significant as they used to be. What we need to focus on is differentiation through other aspects of the product offering.”
On the consumer side, Hankook has plans to expand its support beyond the product. “In 2018, certain products will have a road hazard warranty. The details will be available within the next month. We are also going to offer a mileage warranty on our products, and there will be a 30-day customer satisfaction warranty,” explains Overing. “By showing our confidence through these warranties, our goal is to improve the perception of the Hankook brand in the marketplace.”
Hankook recently opened a factory in Clarksville, Tennessee, the company’s eighth plant worldwide and its first plant in North America. It will initially produce 5.5 million units annually. When the second phase of development is complete, it will double its production capacity to 11 million units annually.
The Tennessee Plant will produce Passenger Car Radial and Light Truck Radial tires from Hankook’s extensive North American lineup, including the KINERGY PT, a premium touring all-season tire and Hankook’s first tire made in the U.S. The Kinergy PT will be in dealer showrooms this spring.
“Having this plant on the continent will certainly improve our service time, and order turnaround, for our dealers,” adds Overing.
“The tire industry is not just about the product, it’s also about getting the product to the customer on time, and I think that we have some room to improve on that,” he says.
“I spent my first couple of weeks on the job meeting with key dealer groups, so for me, 2018 is about improving service levels and streamlining order processing to reduce errors. We will be increasing our staff so we can provide what I expect will be the best service in the industry.”