SEOUL, South Korea — Hankook Tire Co. Inc. is revamping its global corporate structure to enhance competitiveness, a process that will include efforts to accelerate the company’s digital transformation.

The restructuring, due to take effect Jan. 1, will include the creation of an IT Strategy Department and a “Car Life Business” headquarters, Hankook said, along with a new regional sales office for the Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East region and new national sales companies in Austria, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam and new offices in Taipei, Taiwan, and Belgrade, Serbia.

The new IT Strategy Department, under the direction of CEO Hyunshick Cho, will oversee efforts to accelerate the company’s digital transformation, Hankook said, including developing a group IT policy function.

Along the same lines, the firm’s Production & Engineering Staff Office will establish a Future Technology Development Team tasked with coping with global digital trends and new technologies. The office also will strengthen its quality and research and development organization in order to cement collaboration among divisions.

The establishment of a Car Life Business headquarters, under the aegis of President and CEO Hyunbum Cho, will be tasked with securing new growth engines, strengthening the provision of automobile total services along with the sales of tires for passenger cars and truck buses.

In particular, it will evaluate potential synergies by expanding business areas in automotive maintenance, repair and related parts through import car dealer business.

Hankook photos Pictured from left are Seyoul Ryu, Jeongrock Yoon and Seonghak Hwang.

Based on the organizational restructuring, Hankook promoted three senior vice presidents and 11 vice presidents.

The new senior vice presidents are:

  • Jeongrock Yoon, overseeing the production efficiency of the Daejeon, South Korea;
  • Hyunjun Cho, focusing on global marketing, including tire business for overseas new cars and plans to boost the premium brand value;
  • Seonghak Hwang, who also is the manager of the Rácalmás, Hungary, plant, is tasked with ensuring a “steady provision” of premium tires for the passenger OE and replacement markets and maximizing the synergy between R&D and manufacturing.

Hankook also hired Seyoul Ryu to be head of the IT Strategy Department, overseeing the group’s digital innovation efforts. He comes to Hankook from Hyundai AutoEver ICT business and also has worked for SAP Korea. He is described as an ERP specialist.

Hankook did not identify the 11 new vice presidents.

In May, Hankook acquired a 75-percent equity stake in Model Solution Ltd., a Seoul-based digital prototyping company active in the electronic and medical devices sector.

The $64 million acquisition is seen as a diversification move into high-tech for Hankook, which is roughly 90-percent focused on tires.

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