How Nexen Tires Became a Leader in Affordable Performance


Companies like Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone may have a longer history, larger production capacities, and more extensive global distribution networks but it’s been a long time since Nexen was a marginal tire maker. Today, this is a prominent tire manufacturer with a strong focus on innovation, quality, and global presence. It continues to contribute to the automotive industry by producing high-performance tires that meet the diverse needs of drivers worldwide.

Besides technological innovation, reasonable prices have always been Nexen’s thing. Compared to premium tire brands, Nexen tires tend to be more affordable. These tires are often positioned in the mid-range or budget-friendly segment of the market and the main reason for the company’s growth lies in the level of quality of these tires. Simply put, there aren’t many tire manufacturers that can compete with Nexen when it comes to value-for-money thing, and that’s why we are dedicating this article to the history and development of this Korean tire brand.

Brief History

Nexen Tire Corporation has a history that dates back to 1942 when it was initially established as Heung-A Tire Company in Korea. At its inception, the company primarily focused on producing tires for bicycles and trucks.

In 1956, Heung-A Tire Company began manufacturing passenger car tires and started exporting its products internationally. The company gradually expanded its production capabilities and product portfolio to meet the growing demand in the domestic and global markets.

In 1985, the company changed its name to Nexen Tire Corporation, a combination of "next" and "century," symbolizing its commitment to future growth and advancement. This name change marked a significant milestone in the company's history, reflecting its aspirations to become a leading global tire manufacturer.

Over the years, Nexen Tire has continually invested in research and development to enhance its tire technology and manufacturing processes. The company has established research and development centers in various countries, including South Korea, the United States, China, and Germany, enabling it to innovate and introduce new tire designs and technologies.

Nexen Tire has also focused on expanding its global presence and distribution networks. It has established manufacturing facilities in South Korea, China, and the United States, enabling it to meet the demands of different markets effectively. The company has developed a wide range of tire products catering to various vehicles, including passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks.

In recent years, Nexen Tire has received recognition and accolades for its tire performance and quality. The company has further strengthened its brand image through sponsorships and partnerships in motorsports, including the Formula Drift Championship in the United States.

As a result of its consistent growth and commitment to excellence, Nexen Tire has become a prominent player in the tire industry. It continues to expand its market presence globally and strives to deliver high-quality and innovative tire solutions to customers around the world.

Nexen Tire's Logo

Technological Achievements

Although rather budget-oriented than a premium brand, Nexen Tire Corporation has made several significant technological achievements in its tire development and manufacturing processes. These technological achievements highlight Nexen Tire's commitment to innovation and improving tire performance across various aspects, including traction, noise reduction, handling, and safety. Although affordable, Nexen tires have always been praised for their performance-oriented design, which made it one of the most bellowed brands among automotive enthusiasts. Let’s take a look at some of the company’s most important technological achievements:

  • Advanced Silica Compound: Nexen Tire has developed and incorporated advanced silica compounds in its tire formulations. Silica is a key ingredient that helps improve traction, grip, and handling in various road conditions, including wet surfaces. By utilizing advanced silica compounds, Nexen tires offer enhanced performance and improved fuel efficiency.
  • Noise Reduction Technology: Nexen Tire has implemented noise reduction technology in its tire designs. By using advanced tread patterns and innovative tire construction techniques, the company has successfully reduced noise levels generated by the tires. This technology helps provide a quieter and more comfortable driving experience for vehicle occupants.
  • 3D Block Edge Design: Nexen Tire has introduced a 3D block edge design in its tire tread patterns. This design incorporates three-dimensional edges on the tire blocks, which enhance traction and grip on various road surfaces. The 3D block edge design allows for improved handling, braking, and stability, contributing to overall driving performance and safety.
  • Multi-Pitch Tread Pattern Technology: The Korean manufacturer has developed multi-pitch tread patterns that optimize road contact and reduce noise generation. By incorporating different pitch variations in the tread design, the company achieves a harmonious balance between noise reduction and excellent road grip. This technology enhances driving comfort while maintaining performance capabilities.
  • Run-Flat Technology: Finally, this company has also invested in developing run-flat tire technology. Run-flat tires are designed to continue providing limited mobility even after a puncture or loss of air pressure. Nexen's run-flat tires are engineered to support the vehicle's weight and maintain stability for a certain distance, allowing drivers to safely reach a repair shop without changing the tire immediately.

These technological achievements highlight Nexen Tire's commitment to innovation and improving tire performance across various aspects, including traction, noise reduction, handling, and safety. By incorporating advanced materials, tread patterns, and manufacturing techniques, Nexen Tire aims to provide customers with high-quality tires that meet their diverse driving needs.

Nexen’s Involvement in Motorsports

Nexen Tire has been actively involved in various motorsports events and sponsorships, particularly in the field of drifting.

One notable partnership is Nexen Tire's sponsorship of the Formula Drift Championship in the United States. Formula Drift is a premier professional drifting series that features skilled drivers competing in high-performance vehicles. As the official tire sponsor of the Formula Drift Championship, Nexen Tire supplies tires to participating drivers, showcasing the performance and capabilities of their products in a competitive motorsport setting.

Nexen Tire's involvement in drifting extends beyond sponsorship. The company has developed specific tire models, such as the Nexen N'Fera SUR4G, designed for drifting applications. These tires offer the necessary grip, durability, and control required by professional drifters to execute precise maneuvers and slides.

Through its participation in motorsports, Nexen Tire aims to enhance brand visibility, promote its tire technology, and demonstrate the performance and reliability of its products. Motorsports provide a platform for Nexen Tire to showcase their tire capabilities under demanding conditions, allowing them to gather valuable data and feedback to further improve their products for both professional and everyday drivers.

It's worth noting that while Nexen Tire's involvement in drifting is prominent, their presence in other motorsports disciplines, such as road racing or off-road racing, may be relatively limited. However, Nexen Tire continues to explore opportunities to expand its motorsports involvement and further strengthen its reputation as a reliable and high-performance tire manufacturer.

Tire Program

Today, Nexen Tire produces a wide range of tires to meet the needs of various vehicles and driving conditions. Besides passenger cars, it also provides tires for SUVs and crossovers, light trucks and performance vehicles.

  • Passenger Car Tires: Nexen manufactures tires specifically designed for passenger cars. These tires are engineered to provide a balance of comfort, performance, and safety for everyday driving.
  • SUV and Crossover Tires: The company produces tires specifically tailored for SUVs and crossover vehicles. These tires often have enhanced load-bearing capabilities, all-season performance, and improved traction for larger vehicles.
  • Light Truck Tires: Nexen offers tires designed for light trucks, pickup trucks, and commercial vehicles. These tires are built to handle heavier loads, provide durability, and deliver reliable performance in various terrains.
  • Performance Tires: This Korean tire company offers high-performance tires that cater to sports cars, performance-oriented vehicles, and enthusiasts. These tires are engineered to provide exceptional grip, handling, and responsiveness for spirited driving experiences.
  • Winter Tires: Nexen manufactures winter tires that are specifically designed to provide enhanced traction and grip on snow, ice, and slush. These tires feature unique tread patterns and specialized rubber compounds to ensure optimal performance in cold weather conditions.
  • All-Season Tires: The company produces all-season tires suitable for year-round driving in diverse weather conditions. These tires offer a balance of performance, traction, and handling capabilities across different road surfaces and climates.
  • Run-Flat Tires: Finally, it offers run-flat tires that are designed to allow drivers to continue driving for a limited distance even after a puncture or loss of air pressure. These tires provide added safety and convenience, allowing drivers to reach a repair facility without immediately changing the tire.

Most Popular Tire Models

Nexen N'Priz AH8: This is a popular all-season touring tire known for its comfortable ride, low road noise, and reliable performance in various weather conditions.

Nexen N'Fera SU1: This is a high-performance summer tire designed for sports cars and performance-oriented vehicles. It offers excellent traction, responsive handling, and enhanced cornering capabilities. 

Nexen Winguard Snow'G WH2: This is a winter tire known for its exceptional traction on snowy and icy roads. It provides a reliable grip in cold weather conditions and offers improved braking and handling on winter surfaces. 

Nexen Roadian HTX RH5: This is a versatile all-season tire designed for SUVs and light trucks. It offers a comfortable ride, good traction, and durability for both on-road and light off-road driving. 

Nexen Classe Premiere CP671: This is a popular touring tire known for its balanced performance, long tread life, and fuel efficiency. It provides a comfortable ride and good handling characteristics for everyday driving.

Nexen Tires: Pros

  • Affordability: Nexen tires are often priced competitively, providing good value for money. They offer a more budget-friendly option compared to premium tire brands without compromising on basic performance and safety features.
  • Variety of Options: There is a wide range of tire models and sizes to cater to different vehicles, driving preferences, and weather conditions. Whether you need tires for passenger cars, SUVs, light trucks, or specific driving conditions, Nexen provides a variety of options to choose from.
  • Decent Performance: Nexen tires offer respectable performance across different categories. They provide reliable traction, responsive handling, and a good grip in normal driving situations. While they may not match the top-tier performance of premium brands, they deliver satisfactory performance for everyday driving needs.
  • All-Season Capabilities: Many tire models are designed for all-season use, providing performance in a variety of weather conditions. These tires offer a balance of traction, handling, and comfort throughout the year, making them suitable for drivers who do not want to switch tires seasonally.
  • Comfortable Ride: Nexen tires are known for their comfortable ride quality. They are designed to provide a smooth and quiet driving experience, minimizing road noise and vibrations for enhanced comfort during long journeys.
  • Solid Construction: This company places an emphasis on quality and manufacturing excellence. Their tires are constructed using advanced materials and production processes, ensuring durability and reliability on the road.
  • Warranty Coverage: Nexen Tire often provides warranty coverage for their tires, offering peace of mind to customers. Warranty terms may vary depending on the specific tire model and region, but they typically include coverage against manufacturing defects and certain road hazards.

Nexen Tires: Cons

  • Performance Limitations: While Nexen tires provide satisfactory performance for everyday driving, they may not match the top-tier performance of premium tire brands. In terms of handling, braking, and wet traction, premium brands often outperform Nexen tires. Therefore, if you have specific performance demands or require high-performance capabilities, other brands might be a better choice.
  • Longevity and Tread Life: While Nexen tires offer reasonable tread life, they may not have the same longevity as premium brands. Some drivers have reported faster tread wear or reduced lifespan compared to more expensive tire options. This can result in more frequent tire replacements, potentially offsetting the initial cost savings.
  • Limited Availability and Brand Recognition: Nexen Tire, while growing in popularity, may have limited availability in certain regions or markets compared to established premium brands. Additionally, Nexen's brand recognition may not be as widespread as some well-known tire manufacturers, which may influence consumer confidence and resale value.
  • Ride Comfort and Noise: These tires are generally known for their comfortable ride, but some drivers have reported that they may not offer the same level of ride comfort as premium brands. In terms of reducing road noise and vibrations, premium brands often outperform Nexen tires, providing a quieter and smoother driving experience.
  • Snow and Ice Performance: Finally, some drivers have reported mixed performance on snow and ice compared to specialized winter tire offerings from premium brands. If you frequently encounter severe winter conditions, you might want to consider dedicated winter tires for optimal traction and safety.


So, are Nexen Tires Worth Buying?

Whether Nexen tires are worth buying depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if Nexen tires are the right choice for you:

If you're looking for affordable tires that offer decent performance for everyday driving, Nexen tires can be a good option. They provide a balance between cost and performance, making them attractive to budget-conscious consumers.

If you have standard performance needs and prioritize reliability, safety, and comfort over top-tier performance, Nexen tires can meet your requirements. They offer satisfactory traction, handling, and ride quality for normal driving conditions.

Nexen offers a range of all-season tires that provide performance in various weather conditions. If you don't want the hassle of switching tires seasonally and need tires that can handle different climates, Nexen's all-season options can be suitable.

Before purchasing Nexen tires, ensure they are readily available in your area and that you have access to reliable customer support and warranty coverage. Check local tire retailers and service centers to confirm availability and support.

Consider your typical driving conditions. If you frequently encounter severe winter weather or demanding performance situations, specialized winter tires or high-performance options from premium brands might be more suitable.

If longevity and extended tread life are important to you, premium brands might offer better options. However, Nexen tires still provide reasonable tread life for their price range.

Ultimately, the worth of Nexen tires depends on your specific priorities and trade-offs. If you value affordability, decent performance, and reliable construction, Nexen tires can be a good choice. However, if you require top-tier performance, specific features, or longevity, you may need to consider premium tire brands. It's always advisable to research specific tire models, read reviews, and consult with tire professionals to make an informed decision based on your unique requirements.