Kumho Tire Co., the South Korean unit of Chinese tiremaker Qingdao Doublestar Co., said Wednesday it began to supply tires to the Audi Q5 SUV.
Kumho Tire began to deliver the high-performance Crugen Premium KL33 tires for the Q5 in early January, the company said in a statement.
The cars are being manufactured at Audi's Mexico plant and the tires will be produced in Kumho Tire's plant in Georgia, the United States, in the form of original equipment tires, it said.
Supplying OE tires to car manufacturers does not generate much revenue for tiremakers but securing big companies as clients helps improve their brand images and can lead to the raising of product prices down the line.
For tiremakers, it is more profitable to sell replacement equipment tires in after-sales markets.
Kumho Tire currently supplies tires to global carmakers, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Skoda and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
It operates eight plants globally -- one in Georgia, one in Vietnam, three in China and three others in South Korea. Their combined capacity reaches 55 million tires.
In 2018, Qingdao Doublestar acquired Kumho Tire by investing 646.3 billion won ($578 million) for a 45 percent stake in the country's second-biggest tiremaker after Hankook Tire & Technology Co.
In the January-September period, Kumho Tire's net losses deepened to 159.21 billion won ($143 million) from 59.91 billion won a year earlier. Its 2019 earnings results will be released in March. (Yonhap)