Cooperation Between Cooper-Avon And Kenda
An agreement has been reached whereby Taiwanese tyre manufacturer Kenda is making passenger car radials for Cooper-Avon. Cooper-Avon says that a number of brand names will be manufactured, including Cooper and Avon and Cooper associate brand Roadmaster. Initially, Kenda will produce T-rated tyres aimed at the European market and, although Cooper-Avon UK Managing Director Ron Shield declined to reveal exact numbers, he did say that “many tens of thousands of tyres” were involved.
The decision to enter into the agreement was taken for a number of reasons. Firstly is the matter of cost; moving production of “bread and butter” sizes to a lower-cost area of manufacture is much cheaper and more cost-effective than adding another line at Cooper-Avon’s Melksham factory. Secondly, such a move frees up the Melksham (UK) plant to concentrate on producing more profitable, high performance products.
“Capacity at Melksham is very valuable” said Shield “and this agreement will enable us to continue our plans for growth.” He revealed that Cooper-Avon is set to sell 20% more tyres this year than last and the Kenda agreement will provide growth potential without heavy investment commitment. The third reason is strategic – should a company want to increase its activities in South East Asia, it is advantageous to have a manufacturing base in the area, although the Kenda-produced tyres will be sold mainly in Europe, at least to start with.