Six tire brands win top design awards in Japan

Kumho Solus HA31

Six tire brands win top design awards in Japan

Korean tire manufacturer Kumho was among six tire manufacturers to win a prestigious award at the Japanese Good Design Awards.

Kumho received awards in the transportation equipment and industrial facility category for its Eco Sense SE11 and Solus HA31 tires. It’s the third year in a row that Kumho Tire has received the Good Design Award of Japan for two of its products.

The Good Design Award is the most prestigious international design competition in Japan and has been running for 59 years. Winners are granted the G-Mark for design, usability and innovative features.

It has been a good year for the manufacturer, which has now received several international design awards for its tires, including from the International Forum Design (Germany) and the IDEA Awards (U.S.).

Six tire makers honored

Toyo Tire and Rubber was the only other tire company to receive the coveted G-Mark for two of its tires. Toyo’s Tranpath ML and Open Country R/T — an off-road tire for rugged terrain — both received awards.

Bridgestone’s REGNO GR-Leggera – designed for the popular Japanese urban minicar market — Hankook’s i*cept iZ2, a winter tire optimized for severe snowy and icy conditions, Nexen’s eco-friendly N’Blue HD PLUS tire and Nihon Michelin Tire’s Pilot Sport 4 premium tire for luxury and sports cars were all also awarded the G-Mark.

Tires by design

Released this year in the Japanese market, Kumho’s Eco Sense SE11 is an environment-friendly tire made of light but highly robust semi-finished products, meaning it weighs seven percent less than other comparable models and has good fuel economy.

Kumho says the four main grooves and center block of the tire are reinforced for greater wet performance and driving stability, while the fuel-efficient compounds help save money and protect the environment, which are the two main qualities Japanese buyers look for in tires.

The Solus HA31, with sidewall icons depicting the sun, snow and clouds to represent the tire’s all-season capabilities, has a directional pattern for improved driving performance. It also received the Korea Good Design Award in 2015 and the German International Forum Design in 2016. Earlier this year Chrysler picked Kumho Solus for OE on its new minivan.

Kumho Tire’s R&D headquarters executive vice president Chung Taek-Gyun said the company would continue to build on its technological achievements and improve its products and design capabilities in a bid to “enhance our position as a global tire maker.”

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