Kumho History


In September 1960 we established Samyang Tire, the predecessor of today's Kumho Tire. In those days, the domestic automobile industry was at a primitive stage, as were auto parts industries like the tire industry. We made about 20 tires a day, depending on manual labor because of our backward technology and shortage of facilities. Then, in the latter half of the '60s, we acquired the KS Mark and managed to ship to East Asia for the first time. This was our starting point.

Sep.1960 -Samyang Tire Co., Ltd., founded in Yang-dong, Kwangju City.
Jan.1961 -First tire, an average of 20 produced per day.
Apr.1963 -Compact passenger car tire (560~13), the first manufactured in Korea.
Jun.1964 -Tube developed.
Oct.1965 -Started shipping to East Asia (200 tires to Thailand amounting to $7,700).
Mar.1966 -DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) Mark acquired.
Jan.1969 -Snow tire developed.

Meeting the Challenge

At the end of the '60s, when the Korean government was leading national reconstruction, Kumho worked hard to meet the government's objectives and to gain business strength. Kumho poured energy into building its Songjung plant (the present Kwangju plant). With this new facility, and after establishing ties with UNI Royal of the USA, Kumho caught up in technology and entered the world marketplace.

Jul.1971 -Operation of Songjung plant begun.
Jun.1963 -Technological ties settled with UNI Royal of the USA.
Nov.1973 -Awarded Stone Trophy on the 10th Korea Export Day.
Sep.1974 -Songjung plant fully completed; head office moved.
Nov.1975 -Awarded Silver Trophy on the 12th Korea Export Day.

Rapid Growth

Despite the 1974 oil shock and difficulties in procuring raw materials, Kumho managed to achieve remarkable growth. In 1976, Kumho became the leader in the tire sector and was listed on the Korea Stock Exchange. Songjung plant II was added in 1977. Receiving the grand prize of the Korea Quality Control Award in 1979, Kumho sharpened its corporate image with the public.

Jan.1976 -Company-wide campaign for technology and quality control.
Apr.1976 -Successful test drive of first aircraft tire.
Nov.1976 -Awarded Gold Trophy on the 13th Korea Export Day.
Dec.1976 -Produced one million tires in the year, a record in Korea.
Jan.1977 -Groundbreaking of Songjung plant II.
Dec.1977 -Recognized as the Best Management Company, the Best Company in Korea and a Superior Productivity Company by the Korea Productivity Center.
Mar.1978 -Awarded presidential citation as a Superior Labor-Management Company.
Apr.1978 -Korea's first TB radial tire developed.
Nov.1979 -Won grand prize in the 5th Quality Control Awards and the silver medal in the Industrial Standardization Awards.

Overcoming Hardship

The turmoil of political instability and feverish democratization in the '80s worsened the business environment. Kumho also underwent labor-management struggles but succeeded in straightening out one issue after another. In the meantime, the company chalked up a total output of 50 million tires, broke ground for its Koksung plant, and completed its proving ground in preparation for a new takeoff.

Dec.1980 -Received $100 Million Export Trophy; total output exceeded 20 million tires.
Feb.1982 -Tire Research Center established.
Oct.1982 -Color tires (Rainbow 888: red, blue, green) for passenger cars developed.
Jul.1983 -Total output exceeded 30 million tires.
Aug.1983 -First export from Korea of tire manufacturing facilities.
Jun.1984 -Death of Incheon Park, president and founder.
Sep.1984 -Kumho Corporation merged with Kumho Tire.
Oct.1984 -Won Productivity grand prize.
Apr.1985 -Name of Samyang Tire Research Institute changed to Kumho Technical Research Institute (KTRI).
Oct.1985 -Head office in Songjung moved to Seoul.
Feb.1986 -Operation of KOPICS started.
Mar.1987 -Ground broken for Koksung plant in Sobong-ri, Ip-myon, Koksung-gun County; received Presidential Award for the Best Energy Saving Company.
Aug.1988 -DOT mark (U.S. Department of Transportation) acquired.

For A New Takeoff

The '90s have been the runway for a takeoff into the 21st century. Kumho is refreshing its corporate culture today in order to cope with the ever-changing business environment in the world under the WTO regime and take its place on the global forefront.

May1990 -KS mark acquired by Koksung plant.
Sep.1990 -Power Racer 60/65 high-performance tire series put on the market.
Dec.1990 -Total output exceeded 100 million tires.
Mar.1991 -VR tires, 50 series, acquired the E1 mark, the first in Korea.
Aug.1991 -Manufacture of golf balls started.
Oct.1991 -Izen snow tire developed and put on the market.
Dec.1991 -Contract signed with UGTC of the USA for brand use and technology patents.
Jan.1992 -Koksung plant selected as a model company for environmental management.
Feb.1992 -Kumho's commercial aircraft tires passed A.A. test of the USA, the first time for a Korean company.
Aug.1992 -Ranked among the top 10 in the world tire market.
Jan.1993 -Participated in Paris to Dakar Rally.
Mar.1993 -Korea's first ZR-grade tire, 35 series, developed.
Oct.1993 -High-end tire Xelex put on the market; Free Exchange System started in Korea for the first time.
Nov.1993 -Awarded $500 Million Export Trophy; total output exceeded 20 million tires.
Feb.1994 -Kwangju and Koksung plants acquired the ISO 9001, the first in the Korean tire sector.
Mar.1994 -Auto Power put on the market.
Mar.1995 -Power Racer-II put on the market; ground broken for Employees' Apartment of Koksung plant.
Apr.1995 -Ground broken for Nanjing Kumho Tire Co., Ltd., China.
Aug.1995 -Koksung plant acquired BS7750 Certification.
Oct.1995 -Izen-II upgraded snow tire put on the market.
Mar.1996 -Company name changed to Kumho Tire Co., Ltd.
Jul.1996 -Employees' Apartment of Koksung plant completed.
Sep.1996 -Koksung plant acquired ISO 14001, the first in the Korean tire sector.
Nov.1996 -Construction of Nanjing Kumho Tire Co., Ltd., China, completed.
Dec.1996 -Kwangju plant acquired ISO 14001, the first in the Korean tire sector.
Mar.1997 -New Xelex put on the market.
Apr.1997 -Construction of Tientsin Kumho Co., Ltd., China, completed.
Jun.1997 -Boeing D1-9000 BQS certification acquired.
Sep.1997 -Listed in '97 Superior Quality Competitive Company 100.
Oct.1997 -Certification acquired as Superior After Service Company, the first in Korea.
Apr.1998 -New brand Solus put on the market Jun. 1998 Kumho European Technical Center (KETC) established.
Jul.1998 -QS 9000 certification acquired.
Feb.1999 -Kumho Construction Co., Ltd., and Kumho Tire Co., Ltd., merged into Kumho Industrial Co., Ltd., Tire Business Unit.
 1999 -Run flat tire developed, 4th in the world tire industry. Developed Automated Production Unit (APU).
 2000 -Developed building machine for Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires. Became official supplier of the International Formula 3 Korea Super Prix.
 2001 -Acquired VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V) Certification.
 2002 -Ranked 2nd in the Customer Satisfaction Survey by J.D. Power and Associates. Became official supplier of the Marlboro Masters Formula 3. Developed world's first UHP 26-inch tire.
 2003 -Ranked 9th in the world tire industry. Established an Automated Production Unit(APU) plant in Pyungtak.
 2005 -Kumho Tire USA moves headquarters to larger location in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
 2008 -Breaks ground to build a $225 million tire manufacturing facility on a 127-acre site in Sofkee Industrial Park in Macon, Georgia.
 2008 -Appoints J.B. Kim to the position of President, Kumho Tire U.S.A. based in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
 2009 -Kumho Tire supplies OE truck tires to Benz (first among Korean tire manufacturers).
 2010 -Kumho Tire ranked No. 1 in Korea's Customer Satisfaction Index (KCSI) for 6 consecutive years, passenger car tire category.
 2010 -Kumho Tire celebrated its 50th year anniversary.
 2010 -Kumho Tire won the Tire Manufacturing and Design Innovation of the Year Award at the Tire Technology Expo 2010, the world's biggest tire expo.

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