Hankook Tire expands further into premium market with Daimler deal

SEOUL, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Hankook Tire Co Ltd said on Monday it has begun supplying tyres to Daimler AG for the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and E-Class sedans, a step up in brand recognition for South Korea's top tyre maker which has been eager to expand further in the premium tyre market.

The deal with the luxury car maker was one of several new contracts for Hankook, currently the world's seventh-largest tyre maker.

It also said it has added Nissan Motor Co Ltd to its customer base with a deal to supply tyres for the new Altima sedan.

Hankook also plans to expand its partnership with BMW to the 5-Series premium sedans, on top of the 1- and 3-Series, and will supply tyres for Toyota Motor Corp's new Corolla compact sedan in addition to the iQ minicar.

Hankook Tire, a family-controlled business owned by Chairman Cho Yang-rai, also counts Audi AG, Honda Motor Co Ltd , Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co among its customers, in addition to Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp.