STARCO & Kenda integrating European technical teams
The technical team that STARCO operates in Europe is joining together with parent company Kenda’s technical team. The aim of integrating the two teams is to leverage synergies within the firms’ global technical structure as well as drive further technological improvements. According to STARCO, it also represents a significant step in both companies’ growth plans for Europe.
The level of collaboration between the respective technical teams in Europe and the USA has grown since Kenda acquired STARCO in 2017. Kenda has also invested significantly in research and development over the last few years, mainly in the US. Now the companies are joining forces and combining technical resources into one organisation.
“This follows in the successful strategy that Kenda has followed in the US by heavily investing in Kenda America Technical Centre in Akron,” explains Richard Todd, who visited the centre earlier this month. “The set-up in Europe will be integrated and reinforced, with significant investment in personnel and equipment planned over the coming years.”
The new European team includes 14 employees. In total, Kenda has over 250 technical team members around the world. This is expected to grow to 300 before 2022.
STARCO’s technical director, Mike Green, and his team will report to the Kenda Europe organisation led by Frits van der Steege, Kenda’s European technical director, who is located in STARCO’s office in Winsen, Germany.
“We have no plans to make any employees redundant. The plans are actually to recruit additional engineers to our team to improve capabilities and resources to support growing our business,” says Frits van der Steege.
Over the next few years, the company will build a new Kenda Europe Technical Centre and invest in equipment, personnel and capabilities to develop both tyres and wheels using both conventional materials such as rubber and steel as well as polymers such as PU.