Kenda expanding European focus with German market launch, developing tyres for our region
Taiwanese tyre maker Kenda intends to strengthen its passenger car tyre business in Europe, and has named the German market as a particular focus. To support its efforts, the company has opened a European headquarters in northern Germany and as of 1 September 2013 employed former GITI Tire passenger car tyre marketing director Michael Andre as its marketing and sales manager for automotive tyres.
Kenda is no newcomer to Europe and has built up a presence in the UK, France, Spain and Italy over a number of years, however the company now aims to establish itself more firmly in the region, and “capture the German market and firmly entrench the Kenda brand in the quality segment.” The tyre maker says it views the German market as presenting the greatest challenge due to its high requirements, and notes that products that want to survive there need outstanding performance in all criteria. “Kenda is aware of these demands and had its product range tested in a series of comparative tests through independent European engineers in the renowned MIRA test centre (in England) and, with regards to winter tyres, in Test World (in Finnland).” Michael Andre, marketing and sales manager at Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Europe GmbH, reports a good outcome from these tests: “Therefore we were able to optimise our product portfolio for German and European customers. In many areas we find ourselves on par with comparable established brands.”
The first Kenda product specifically developed for the European market will be launched in spring 2015. This tyre, the UHP segment KR41, will be tested by engineers in Spain in the coming months. It will be previewed to the public for the first time at Reifen 2014 in Essen, Germany later this month, along with Kenda’s current European market portfolio.
Andre describes Kenda’s approach to the European market as being based upon “three pillars” – uncompromising product quality, the development of an attractive brand image and the setup of a network of dedicated distributors. From the new Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Europe facility in Oldenburg, Germany, the marketing and sales manager will establish and build up distribution networks in both Germany and across Europe. These European efforts will be supported by Kenda through an increased focus on the original equipment segment and through the construction of a new research and development centre in Taiwan.