Hankook Tyre launches Laufenn, budget tyre line
Laufenn, another value-based tyre brand, and a subsidiary of Hankook, is now on-sale in Australia…
BUDGET AND PREMIUM brands under the same parent are nothing new; think Toyota and Lexus, Nissan and Infinity, even BMW and Rolls-Royce. It’s not unknown in the tyre world either, for example Toyo and its budget brand Nitto. Tyre companies are a bit like car companies; what appears to be a standalone tyre manufacturer is often just a brand of a bigger company.
And now Hankook has announced Laufenn which, according to Marc Sibbald, National Sales Director of Hankook Tyre Australia, will “complement the existing Hankook range and offer a large number of sizes for customers looking for value and a world-class product”, and is an “associate and entry-level brand”.
The positioning around such launches is always a bit confusing. On one hand, the message is that the budget brand offers value – which implies the premium brand does not, and there’s also talk of the ‘budget’ brand serving the “reasonable consumer with a well-rounded range of reliable products”.
Fortunately, we’re here to help cut through all the marketing. The answer in these cases is that the budget brand will produce perfectly good tyres and should be the first choice for buyers just looking to put black round things on their car. The premium brand is best for those people who want more from a tyre – let’s say motorsports, sports cars, offroading or just sizes that aren’t mass-market.
That’s the theory, anyway, and here’s the Laufenn range:
- S FIT EQ –Ultra-high performance summer tyre;
- G FIT EQ – High performance summer tyre;
- X FIT HT – Highway-terrain SUV and light truck tyre;
- X FIT AT – All-terrain SUV and light truck tyre;
- X FIT VAN – Light truck and van tyre;
- S FIT AS – Ultra-high performance passenger tyre; and
- G FIT AS – Touring high performance passenger tyre.
This kind of goes against the whole “budget” tyre as consumers of ultra-high performance tyres aren’t (or shouldn’t be) budget buyers, but anyway…more tyre choice is never a bad thing. Of course, too much choice can be confusing in which case you need to read our ultimate guide to tyre choosing!