When we think of the Asian tire industry, China and Japan are the first countries that come to mind. Unbeknownst to some, many industry-leading South Korean tire brands sell high-quality and durable tires. Some of these brands sell directly to consumers, and others export only to other businesses.
The three most popular tire brands in South Korea are Kumho Tire, Hankook Tire, and Nexen Corporation. These companies manufacture winter, all-season, and all-terrain tires for a variety of vehicle types. They also offer stellar customer support and limited or lifetime warranties. If one of these brands doesn’t have what you need, check out the rest of the top ten Korean tire brands.
Before replacing your tires, consider Korean brands. All the brands on our top-ten list sell long-lasting tires that compete with their American, Japanese, and Chinese counterparts.
Top Korean Tire Brands
Kumho Tires is undoubtedly one of the most popular tire companies in South Korea. Its headquarters is in Gwangju, but it maintains subsidiaries, such as Kumho Tire USA, under its parent company. You can find Kumho products at various auto parts stores throughout the United States and Canada.
The company sells an assortment of tires, including performance summer, all-season, all-terrain, and mud-terrain options.
Whether you own a passenger vehicle, light SUV or truck, or a commercial vehicle, you can likely find a set of tires that will fit your automobile. Many consumers pick Kumho Tires over other brands for its lifetime warranty covering defects outside of normal wear and tear.
Out of all the tire brands in South Korea, Hankook Tire is one of the most prominent players. Based in Seongnam-si, the tire manufacturer sells products around the globe.
Its collection of tires includes all-season, summer, winter, and run-flat tires for passenger vehicles, SUVs, small trucks, commercial trucks and buses, and trailers. The tire company also maintains a list of dealers authorized to service Hankook Tires.
All Hankook tires come with a limited warranty that lasts six years from the date of purchase. This warranty only extends to products adequately installed. Furthermore, Hankook Tire strives to offer responsive and personable customer service to its wide range of clientele.
The next Korean tire brand on our list is Nexen Corporation, one of the most decorated tire companies in South Korea. Originally founded with the name Heung-A Tire Company, Nexen Tire started manufacturing tires in 1942. The company currently operates out of Yangsan-si and has subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic.
Nexen Corporation sells winter and all-season tires for sedans, SUVs, vans, and small trucks. Its tires fit various recognized brands, including Hyundai, Kia, Jeep, Dodge, and Porsche, to name a few. Each tire comes with a limited warranty and a six-year adjustment period.
This South Korean-based tire company reached success because of its drive to continuously innovate and create new products. Nexen Corporation has Research and Development Centers in Magok, China, Europe, and North America. The brand strategically places its R&D centers to develop products suitable to the markets it sells its products.
4.Daehan Tire Industries Co. Ltd.
Earning 4th place on our list is Daehan Tire Industries Co. LTD. Founded in 1990, Daehan Tire Industries Co. LTD. manufactures a large assortment of products and has a principal office in Seoul. Like Dongah Tire & Rubber (number seven on the list), Daehan Tire Industries Co. LTD. produces and sells inner tubes, retread tires, and flaps. The company even supplies some of its products to Kumho Tires, one of the largest tire companies in South Korea.
Like most rubber manufacturers in South Korea, Daehan Tire Industries Co. LTD. strives to maintain high-quality standards and keep customers happy. The rubber company uses the OEM method to produce its industry-leading products.
At this time, Daehan Tire Industries Co. LTD. focuses primarily on B2B sales instead of B2C. Therefore, the company doesn’t maintain any retail outlets in South Korea or other countries. Relatively small compared to Nexen and Hankook, the company has between 50 – 100 employees at both its head office and manufacturing facility.
Daehan Tire Industries Co. LTD. strives to produce top-notch products, offers excellent customer service, and invests a lot of time and effort into investment and research to continue expanding its product line.
5.DRB Holding Co.
DRB Holding Co. is a global company with locations worldwide – South Korea, Russia, and Los Angeles, to name a few. The company’s main office is in Busan. While DRB doesn’t make your traditional car tire, it does make rubber pads and tracks for commercial equipment. These products are essentially the tires for construction vehicles. DRB focuses on making quiet parts with low ground pressure and high-speed operation capabilities.
In addition to rubber pads and tracks, DRB manufactures various seals, including door, body, tailgate, and glass run/channel seals. The company also sells multi-ply, mono-ply, less-ply, and steel-cord conveyor belts.
Different car companies construct their vehicles using DRB parts. And since there’s always a risk of earthquakes in south Korea, DRB also makes various types of seismic isolation and vibration control products.
DRB Holding Co. got its start in 1945 during the commencement of South Korea’s rubber industry. Since the beginning, DRB has maintained an industry-leading position in the rubber manufacturing space.
The company continues to develop new products and has a research & development center. DRB is a member of the UN Global Compact and supports the 17 objectives set forth by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
6.Dong Heung Trade Co., Ltd.
Dong Heung Trade Co., Ltd. is a smaller manufacturer that is located in Geumsan-ri, South Korea. While you won’t find much information about this company online, it’s said to be an exporter of rubber products, including tires. Based on the company’s profile, it appears to be a well-established B2B manufacturer and exporter of consumer and commercial products.
7.Dongah Tire & Rubber
Dongah Tire & Rubber has a head office in Yusan, a factory in Bukjeong, and a plant in Qingdao. The Korean-based company primarily focuses on the tubes that go inside tires. Dongah Tire & Rubber has a wide selection of products, including passenger, low section, light, truck and bus, and off-the-road tubes. The manufacturing business maintains an extensive catalog for B2B sales.
Products manufactured by Dongah Tire & Rubber don’t just stay in South Korea. The company exports its inner tubes, flaps, and curing envelopes to various countries throughout the world. Another notable thing about Dongah Tire & Rubber is its commitment to quality products.
The company’s policy is to “minimize customer complaints.” It has a FLAP, BLADDER Quality Management System Certificate of Registration, and a Certificate of Approval from the Korean Standards Association.
Products come with a two-year warranty unless the consumer misuses the product. Dongah Tire & Rubber continuously works to improve its manufacturing process to achieve industry-leading quality and customer satisfaction. The CEO’s goal is to create future value and growth within the rubber product manufacturing industry.
8.Dong-A Hwasung Co.
Compared to the other brands on our list Dong-A Hwasung Co. is relatively tiny. The company produces a variety of products, including tires and washing machine drums. Twelve subsidiaries roll up under list Dong-A Hwasung Co., which has its principal office in Gimhae, Gyeongnam.
Since its inception in 1974, Dong-A Hwasung Co. has strived to make long-lasting tires and other rubber products. Many of Dong-A Hwasung Co.’s tires are not as relatively available in the United States, compared to tires produced by Kumho Tires and Nexen Corporation.
The company’s website is entirely in Korean with no English version, so we gather that it conducts business primarily with other Korean companies or directly with Korean consumers.
9.Hung-a Co., Ltd.
Another brand to make our top-ten list is Hung-a Co., LTD. This company has over 59 years of experience producing high-quality and durable tires in the South Korean market. The company produces tires for off-road and industrial vehicles, trucks, and agricultural equipment. Moreover, Hung-a Co., Ltd. has ISO/TS 1694 and O14001 certification.
You won’t find any Hung-a Co., Ltd. storefronts near you. This company primarily focuses on B2B exports.
10.Michelin Korea Co., Ltd.
The last Korean tire brand on our list is Michelin Korea Co., Ltd. You’ve probably seen Michelin’s mascot – a fluffy character known as the “Michelin Man.” Although headquartered in France, Michelin has a South Korean subsidiary. The subsidiary’s principal office is in Seoul.
As a brand, Michelin has an extensive selection of tires for sedans, motorcycles, bicycles, and even aircraft. Even though the company doesn’t manufacture all its products in South Korea, most Koreans can still buy a wide selection of Michelin tires.
Customers can purchase summer, all-season, and winter tires from Michelin. Within the last couple of years, Michelin has brought to market many innovative products, such as its Michelin® Pilot® Sport All Season 4 tire and Michelin® Defender® LTX® M/S tire.
A Final Glance
No matter what brand you choose, you can’t go wrong with a set of Korean tires. With an established rubber industry and strict manufacturing regulations, Korean tires are some of the best options on the market. You can find Korean tires in various stores throughout the world.