A proper set of tires is a necessity these days if we want to have a safe and efficient experience on the road. Even the best cars are only as good as the tires on which they drive which means that it often makes sense to spend a bit extra if it gives you a bit extra on the road.
Kumho is one of those brands that constantly keeps popping up in many tire stores, but Kumho is not a premium brand, and rarely anyone knows where they come from. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about Kumho Tires. So, who makes Kumho tires? Are Kumho Tires any good?
Who Makes Kumho Tires
Kumho Tires is owned by Kumho Tire Co., Inc., a subsidiary of the large Chinese tire conglomerate known as Doublestar. The Kumho tire brand first came to the scene back in the 1960s and was called Samyang Tire. However, 1996 was the year when Samyang Tire was renamed Kumho Tires.
There are currently three different brands operating under the Kumho Tire umbrella. These are Kumho, Marshal, and Zetum. Most of these tires are being manufactured in Kumho tire factories across Asia such as South Korea, Vietnam, China, but also the United States.
Are Kumho Tires Made in The USA?
In the beginning, all Kumho tires were made in South Korea, but the company expanded to the US market by acquiring the DOT (Department of Transportation) trademark from 1966 to 1988. This trademark was later extended and is in place to this very day. This was made possible because of a partnership between Uniroyal and Kumho. For a spot of context, Uniroyal was and still is one of the largest and oldest tire manufacturers in the US.
Kumho owns and operates a large tire factory in Macon, Georgia which makes most Kumho tires intended for the US market. However, Kumho also owns and operates a large research and development center in Akron, Ohio which is also the home of the largest US tire brand, Goodyear. The Macon Kumho factory in Georgia is able to produce up to 4 million tires each year, but the plan is to increase that output to a ludicrous 10 million tires annually.
When it comes to US distribution centers, Kumho has those situated in Georgia (McDonough), Ohio (Groveport), New Jersey (South Brunswick), Illinois (New Lenox), and Texas (Grapevine). These centers are tasked with distributing all US-made Kumho tires for the domestic and foreign markets.
Being the 2nd largest South Korean tire maker is a big deal as South Korea makes a large portion of all tires available today. As such, Kumho has a really strong presence across the US market which is only bound to grow as the years go by.
In Which Countries Are Kumho Tires Manufactured?
- Macon, Georgia, USA – As mentioned above, the Kumho Tires factory situated in Georgia is tasked with manufacturing Kumho Tires that are primarily intended for the US market. This means that this factory mostly makes truck tires as trucks are really popular in the US, but aren’t all that popular in other parts of the world.
- Nanjing, Jiangsu, China – One of the largest Kumho Tire factories in the world is situated in Jiangsu China where Kumho also makes millions of tires each year. This factory does only make Kumho branded tires, but also all the subsidiary tire brands under the Kumho umbrella.
- Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-Do, China – This Kumho factory was completed in 2005 and is also a really large tire factory with thousands of employees.
- Tianjin, China – The Kumho factory in Tianjin China is also one of the largest tire factories Kumho currently operates, but this factory is mostly known for making Kumho tires that were of questionable quality back in 2010 when Kumho recalled as many as 300,000 tires made in this factory.
- Changchun, Jilin, China – One of the newest Kumho Tire factories is the one situated in Changchun which first opened its doors back in 2009. This factory is able to manufacture upwards of 3 million tires every year.
- Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju, South Korea – This tire factory is the largest Kumho Tire factory in all of South Korea and also likely the largest and longest-standing Kumho factory in the entire world.
- Binh Duong Province, Vietnam – This factory was commissioned back in 2008 and is soon to be expanded to its nearby Tay Ninh province thanks to a $230 million investment.
- Gokseong-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea – This is the second Kumho Tires in South Korea and is comparably smaller than the one in Gwangju.
Are Kumho Tires Any Good?
Kumho tires are designed to combine certain benefits into a single package that does not cost as much money as some premium brands. This does not mean that Kumho tires aren’t able to stand their ground as these tires are also backed by decades of continuous research & development efforts made by Kumho Tire Co. Kumho tires are situated somewhere in the middle when it comes to price as they are not the most expensive tires, but also not the cheapest tires out there.
Kumho aims to offer tires at a 30%-40% discount when compared to premium brands. They are never really pushing the boundaries of tire design, they are more about trying not to fix something that is not yet broken. As such, they rely on well-known techniques and tend to play it safe which earns them a huge portion of the global tire market.
Kumho makes durable, but not industry-leading durable tires which is to be expected considering the price. All in all, we can say that Kumho tires certainly do deserve their place on the global market because they are great value tires with everything you need.
Which Kumho Tires Are Best?
- Kumho ECTSA 4XII KU22
- Kumho SOLUS TA71
- Kumho WINTERCRAFT WP71
- Kumho I*ZEN KW27
- Kumho CRUGEN HP 71
- Kumho ROAD VENTURE AT51
Is The Kumho ECTSA 4XII KU22 a Good Tire?
The Kumho ECTSA 4X II KU22 might be somewhat of a mouthful when it comes to nomenclature, but this all-season tire is known to be one of the best Kumho Tires when it comes to dry traction. However, this does not hamper how this tire performs in the wet because aquaplaning resistance is also second to none.
Thousands of satisfied customers are keen on saying that this tire offers an excellent value-to-performance ratio. To top it all off, this tire is also really comfortable and quiet. This does not mean that this tire is perfect as it does struggle when it comes to snow and longevity.
Is The Kumho SOLUS TA71 a Good Tire?
The Kumho SOLUS TA71 is the flagship model coming out of the SOLUS family because it offers great performance in the dry and more than adequate performance in the wet. With a comfortable and refined ride, the SOLUS TA71 also manages to be a really good touring tire, but without the price that you typically expect with a good touring tire.
On the other hand, ice and snow traction is far from superior while steering wheel feedback is also limited when compared to some other performance Kumho tires.
Is The Kumho WINTERCRAFT WP71 A Good Tire?
The Kumho WINTERCRAFT family of tires is mostly known for the WINTERCRAFT WP51 and the flagship WINTERCRAFT WP71. These are purpose-made winter and ice tires that are able to provide decent traction on both snow and ice. This is somewhat of a double-edged sword as these are really good in snow and ice, but aren’t all that usable on normal roads.
As such, if you need a proper winter and ice tire, the WINTERCRAFT WP71 is a really good choice overall.
Is The Kumho I*ZEN KW27 A Good Tire?
High-performance winter tires aren’t the most popular tires on the market, but people who enjoy driving their performance cars throughout the entire year will love the Kumho I*ZEN KW27. This tire is designed for passenger cars with an emphasis on performance. They are comfortable, offer decent feedback, and are relatively quiet.
On the other hand, they can’t deliver the same amount of traction on snow and ice as dedicated snow and ice tires can. They also aren’t the best handling winter tires made by Kumho either.
Is The Kumho CRUGEN HP 71 a Good Tire?
The Kumho CRUGEN HP71 is designed for SUVs, trucks, and crossovers and is the flagship model out of the CRUGEN tire family. These might be more expensive than most Kumho tires out there, but that is to be expected because the CRUGEN HP71 comes with a 65,000-mile warranty. This means that this is a touring tire designed to be quiet and responsive at highway speeds.
With excellent aquaplaning resistance and plenty of sizes to choose from, the CRUGEN HP71 is indeed a good tire. However, the CRUGEN HP71 is not good in the snow, not even for this price bracket, let alone more expensive premium tires.
Is The Kumho ROAD VENTURE AT51 a Good Tire?
The Kumho ROAD VENTURE AT51 is also a tire intended for cars with higher ground clearance but has a strict emphasis on off-roading. Furthermore, this tire is one of the most affordable true off-road tires in its segment which is why it is proving to be a fairly popular tire in the US market. Wet performance is excellent, and so is the level of comfort for an off-road tire.
However, high-speed driving is really noisy as these tires come with large bitting edges that do vibrate on a highway. Either way, the Kumho ROAD VENTURE AT51 is a good off-road tire and is sure to satisfy those wanting to take their SUVs and trucks off-roading.
What Are The Pros Of Kumho Tires?
- Price – The first and rather obvious benefit of Kumho tires is the price as these tires come with price tags that do undercut most mid-level and all premium tires out there. This means that these tires are designed for those who don’t want to compromise on performance but also aren’t willing to pay a fortune.
- Sustainability – Over the recent years, Kumho has invested a lot of money in transitioning towards more sustainable means of production which also isn’t all that common for non-premium brands.
- Versatility – Kumho offers 5-10 tire families at any time which is also really rare for a non-premium tire brand. This means that you can buy many different Kumho Tire models, all of which are designed to fulfill a specific purpose.
- Performance – The fact that Kumho is not a premium manufacturer does not mean that the performance that comes with these tires isn’t top-notch, because is it. Sure, some models Kumho offers are mediocre, but some really do punch way above their weight limit.
What Are The Cons Of Kumho Tires?
- Quality – Many Kumho customers around the world are complaining about their tires not being consistent. This means that certain batches are different colors which Kumho says isn’t an issue, but it surely does question the quality.
- Warranty – Kumho offers certain tire models that really come close to some premium tire models price-wise, but don’t come with comparable warranty coverages.
- Information – Customers are complaining that Kumho does not offer enough information about certain tire models, an example would be the lack of tire speed ratings on certain models.
Who makes Kumho tires? Kumho tires are being made by Kumho Tire Co, a subsidiary of Doublestar which is one of the world’s largest tire-making conglomerates from China. Kumho has been around for quite a while and has managed to earn a really good reputation in the mid-level tire market. Kumho makes many tire models for many usage scenarios, all of which seem to offer something good.
With loads of factories all across the globe, Kumho manages to saturate markets all around the world. No matter the type of car you own, you are likely to find the tire you need with Kumho. Even though it isn’t a premium tire brand, no one can really complain about Kumho not deserving its place in the global tire market.