Since the beginning of this month, Kumho’s European Technical Centre (KETC) in the Hessian town of Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany has been led by 50-year-old Matthias Bode, who is now responsible for the development of all Kumho products for the European original equipment (OE) and replacement markets.
A father of two, Bode brings a mass of knowledge and contacts gained from over 30 years in the tyre industry to his new role. Having qualified as an engineer, he began his career in 1995 in the development department of Dunlop GmbH, Hanau, since when he has held numerous positions within the Goodyear Dunlop group. Until 2006 he focused on compound development and process optimisation, and then for the next two years headed up that function at the Goodyear Technical Center in Akron, USA. After returning to Germany he controlled the development of Dunlop’s winter tyres and it was under his leadership that products like the Winter Sport 4D and Winter Response 2 were developed, plus several OE fitments for BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
From 2012 further executive positions followed concerning the material and compound technologies of both winter and summer tyres, and even the Ultra Ultra High Performance segment, and successful products like the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport, SuperSport R and SuperSport RS, as well as OE tyre approvals for the iconic Porsche 911 GT3 RS and GT2 RS (type 991.2), were all implemented by Bode. His last position at Goodyear Dunlop was that of Senior Manager of compound development for the EMEA/Asia Pacific region at the group’s Luxembourg and Hanau facilities. In his new role at Kumho Bode reports directly to M J Lee, Senior Vice President, at the company’s global R&D centre in Korea.
Joining Kumho at the same time as Bode was another Goodyear Dunlop émigré, 52-year-old Roberto Sangalli, who has taken up the role of Manager, Tyre Engineering for KETC. Prior to his period at Goodyear Dunlop he spent 20 years at Pirelli where he was responsible for the development of tyres for Formula 1, GP2, GP3, and all GT series products from 2015 to 2017.
Said Bode of his latest appointment: “My new job will be exciting and challenging. Following a number of key changes it’s time for a new start at KETC, which my team and I plan to implement successfully. Kumho already has fantastic technical options available which we have to utilise and further optimise courtesy of the existing staff, plus new highly-qualified colleagues like Roberto Sangalli. Their combined expertise will greatly assist the development of competitive and market-driven products for our partners in the OE and replacement markets.”