Formula One is the next step the Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho has confirmed, and they're dedicating considerable resources to that goal.

A plan is in place to develop a tyre for competition in the 2007 season according to Kyu S. Cho, president of Kumho Tire U.S.A.

"We have been making competition tyres since the late 1980s," explains Cho. "In addition to making tyres for commercial and competition use, Kumho also makes tyres for commercial and military aircraft. The advanced technology and production processes we have developed to make such a wide variety of tyres will be used to develop a tyre for Formula One."

In conjunction with development of the tyre, Cho said that Kumho is conducting a feasibility study to determine when and if the company will begin producing them for F1.

"We will invest several millions dollars just to develop the tyre," he notes. "It will require an even bigger investment to provide engineering support, logistics and service to F1 teams. We are looking at the pros and cons of getting involved with the series."

Rick Brennan, the company's US brand manager says Formula One is the right direction for the company. "Kumho has been competing in Formula Three events in Korea since 2000 and in European F3 events for the last few years," he said. "F1 is the next logical step--albeit a huge step. It will take some time for us to be able to step up to the plate and start swinging at pitches."

Kumho's competition tyres are currently used in a variety of racing series around the world--for F3 in Europe and Asia, for sportscar racing in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and for off-road racing and rallying in North America, Asia and Europe.