Leading tyres manufacturer Kumho has been named as the official OE tyre supplier for the new range of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans.
The two companies have recently signed a partnership agreement extending their collaboration for original equipment tyre supply which first began in 2007.
The new Mercedes Benz Sprinter range is fitted with Kumho Radial 857 tyres in Australia, Europe, North America and across Asia.
Mercedes Benz chose the Kumho 857 radial for its Sprinter vans up to 3.5 tonnes because of their durability, low wear and strong handling characteristics.
In 2007 Kumho was chosen as the tyre supplier for the Mercedes A-Class line-up and in 2008 Mercedes again chose Kumho for its Viano X-Clusive van.
In the past year Kumho has been fitted to the Mercedes Benz Actros rigid trucks and prime mover units while Kunho is also a provider for the Mercedes’ Smart brand.
According to Kumho Tyre Australia general manager David Basha the decision by Mercedes to choose Kumho will help grow awareness of the quality and integrity of the Kumho brand.
“The Sprinter is one of the best selling vans around the world and Kumho believes that becoming the original equipment tyre supplier will reinforce its growing reputation as a leader in tyre technology and quality,” said David Basha.
“The company has an aggressive strategy to further increase its OE business – especially with the world’s premier brand manufacturers and this is an example of the inroads the brand is making,” he added.
Meantime Kumho was recently praised by one of Europe’s most prestigious automotive magazines Auto Bild in its annual tyre test which saw the Kumho ECSTA HM named as ‘highly recommended’ in a field of some of Europe’s most esteemed tyre brands.
Kumho was the only Korean manufacturer to receive the top rating, and was rated third amongst fourteen tyre brands including Michelin, Continental and Dunlop.
The Auto Bild tyre test assessed handling, braking, driving comfort and fuel efficiency.
Auto Bild is one of the most influential automotive magazines in Europe, with circulation of 660,000 copies in 35 countries every week.
The magazine’s annual tyre test results are widely recognized as one of the most credible source for product quality and the most influential data for European consumers.
The Kumho ECSTA HM received high ratings in all of the test categories including handling, braking, steering and resistance to hydroplaning.
ECSTA HM features an upgraded UHP tread compound technology, which enhances driving stability and extends tyre life.
Europe is a key market for Kumho accounting for up 30 percent of the company’s export sales.
“The news of Benz OE choice on Sprinter along with the latest Auto Bild ratings reiterate Kumho’s technological prowess and product quality,” said David Basha.
“Kumho celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and it is making a increasingly significant impact in global markets thanks to the continued focus on R&D and improved technology,” he added.
The announcements follow Kumho’s recent accolade for its concept tyre in the ‘Manufacturing and Design Innovation Awards’ at the world’s largest Tyre Technology Expo in Cologne, Germany last month.