Hankook manager sees promising future of Jiangsu
2018-10-30 15:20:00

On an autumn night with cool breeze, Lee gyu bong, factory manager of Jiangsu Hankook Tire Co., Ltd. and his wife took a walk along the Li Canal, part of the Grand Canal, in Huai’an City, while the fragrance of sweet-scented osmanthus lingered in the air. Now in Jiangsu for 11 years, the couple felt deeply attached to the city.

New chapter in Huai’an

Jiangsu Hankook Tire was founded in 1996 in Huai’an and operates as a subsidiary of Hankook Tire of South Korea, one of the Fortune Global 500 companies. When Hankook tapped the radial tires market for truck and buses in 2002, Lee arrived in Huai’an as a technician.

After getting off the car, he was a bit disappointed because the Huai'an factory was itself in the middle of nowhere, and he met difficulties in transportation and life. "Exploiting a new market means a lot of work. There was even no taxi after leaving office at late night. The shops were also closed. When it rained, the road was flooded. Every time you went outside, you had to change your shoes. Most people rode bicycles and the traffic lights existed in name only since few people obeyed traffic rules," said Lee of the life in the past.

But now, great changes have happened in the view of Lee. “The asphalt roads are straight and spacious, surrounded by large shopping malls, supermarkets, and 24-hour shops. Although the number of cars and electric vehicles has soared, the public is ready to keep order and follow traffic rules. With the newly opened highways, flyovers and airport, Huai’an has opened a new chapter and is developing more like a metropolis today.”

A big fan of history, Lee’s bookcase has a variety of historical books. He has made a considerable study of the history of Li Canal, Hexia Ancient Town, Zhou Enlai Memorial Hall and other landmarks in the city. He said that people can understand a city from reading history and have a deeper understanding of the city’s development.

Promising future of Jiangsu

In 2006, Lee was transferred back to the company’s headquarters in South Korea. Then in 2012, he was appointed as the deputy manager of the Huai’an-based factory. After a lapse of six years, he felt that China's auto market developed very rapidly. "When I first came to Huai'an, the cars were mainly Santana, Jetta, Citroen and other brands. But now, you can see different brands of cars produced in various countries here in Huai’an. The car models have also developed from small size to SUVs and larger vehicles. China's auto market is constantly expanding and becoming more international."


Lee also found that Huai'an buses used gasoline before and now new energy and electric vehicles are on the rise. Since the birth of China's first fuel cell vehicle in 2008, Jiangsu, as a strong economic province, has also accelerated the development of fuel cell vehicles, gradually building its competitiveness and brand influences. Lee said: " Jiangsu is not large in size, but the contribution to the country’s economy has always been at the forefront for many years. Jiangsu's development prospects are very promising in the information age."

Commitment to go green

Jiangsu Hankook Tire now keeps close cooperation with 36 auto companies around the world. Amid the economic boom, Lee has paid special attention to environmental protection. The factory in Huai’an has set stricter standards, planned to develop fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly tires, and also tried to minimize emissions during the production process. “As a chemical company, our current emissions are 100 percent in line with China’s requirements. But we hope to become more environmentally friendly.” Currently, Hankook has invested 170 million yuan (US$24.4 million) to purchase equipment for pollution control.

In Huai'an for more than 20 years, Jiangsu Hankook Tire has actively fulfilled the corporate social responsibilities. The company has provided job opportunities for local people, established more than 10 projects in cooperation with charitable organizations to help poor students, and made donations to Project Hope, a Chines project to improve educational facilities and teaching quality in poorer regions. The company’s efforts in community building have truly brought benefits to locals.

Lee said: "I am very optimistic about Jiangsu. My goal is to make Jiangsu Hankook Tire a first-class enterprise, known for safe production, people’s satisfaction and giving back to the society."

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Nicky