By Kang Doo-soon and Kim Hyo-jin
Hyosung Advanced Materials Corp., an industrial materials unit of South Korea’s Hyosung Group, has nearly doubled its presence in Southeast Asia’s tire cord market in just two years, with aims to further cement its dominance in the rapidly burgeoning market.
The Korean company said Monday its combined market share in the tire cord segment in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam jumped to 40 percent this year from 22 percent in 2016. Its client roster in the four countries has also grown from two to 12 over the same period.
Tire cord fabrics are used as reinforcement materials for tires to improve their longevity, durability and overall driving performance. In 1968, Hyosung Advanced Materials became the first in Korea to self-manufacture nylon tire cords. It went on to produce polyester tire cords in 1978 and has remained the undisputed leader in the segment since 2000.
Hyosung attributed its strong performance in Southeast Asia to its ability to tailor products specifically to regional differences.
In 2014, the company set up a technical marketing team to venture into the Asian tire cord market. It said it also communicated regularly with the technology and manufacturing units of its clients for direct input, which it incorporated in improving its tires.
Tire sales are booming in Asia as the number of new cars hitting the roads surges every year on rapid economic growth. One of the most promising markets is Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest auto market with a population of more than 260 million people. Demand for new cars is also high in India, the world’s second-most populous country, with car sales projected to grow by 7.5 percent this year.