For a number of years, Danish firm STARCO offered the KargoTrail and MasterTrail under its own name. The third generation of these trailer tyre lines is now available, and both have been rebranded as Kenda products. STARCO says the Kenda KR101 MasterTrail 3G and Kenda KR209 KargoTrail 3G are “improvements of the well-performing and proven STARCO range,” with changes in tyre compound and tread depth leading to “longer mileage, better wet grip and improved rolling resistance.”
Michael Andre (60) is retiring at the end of 2018. The news comes after five years with Kenda Rubber Industrial, where he has been marketing and sales manager automotive Europe responsible for the European passenger car tyre business of the Taiwanese tyre manufacturer. In this role Andrew has led the phased introduction of the Kenda brand to the German and other key European markets.
China’s largest tyre manufacturer, Zhongce Rubber, has entered the global top ten, research published today by Tyrepress shows. Best known in Europe for its Westlake brand, the company has pushed up in the rankings past Giti Tire – manufacturer of GT Radial – which did not supply 2017 figures before the deadline, Toyo Tires, and Cooper Tire & Rubber, which fell three places. Competition in the lower quarter of the top ten places is fierce, with turnovers for tyres between 2.4 billion euros (Cooper in 13th) and 3.2 billion euros (Maxxis in ninth).
Ready for the summer season, the STARCO subsidiary in Switzerland has received the first car tyres from Kenda and is ready to begin its new role as the brand’s national distributor. Commenting on the new arrangement, STARCO’s Richard Todd noted that the company was exploring many synergies with Kenda over both the short and long-term.
Kenda Tires is keen to replicate the success it has enjoyed with its car tyre business in North America over the last decade in European markets, and last year it introduced its first passenger car tyre specifically designed for the region, the Kenda Emera A1. This was followed by the Wintergen 2 winter tyre and Komendo Winter KR500 van tyre. The Taiwanese tyre maker is bringing its latest made-for-Europe product to The Tire Cologne, the Kenda Kenetica 4S all-season tyre.
Taiwan-based tyre manufacturer Kenda has purchased Starco Europe. Announced on 2 October, the move is described by Kenda as “a good cultural, organizational and strategic fit” for which both companies see “significant long-term opportunities”. Kenda has been a Starco supplier since 1982. Over the last 12 months a series of meetings determined a clear willingness from both Kenda and Starco to take the partnership to another level. Starco does not plan any organizational changes or redundancies related to the acquisition.
The performance of the Kenda Emera A1 in a summer tyre test conducted by Finland’s Test World is viewed by the manufacturer as a confirmation of the tyre’s competitiveness and validation of its aim to produce premium tyres for the European market. Test World evaluated 18 size 205/55 R16 tyres in March; Kenda states its satisfaction with the Emera A1’s ranking in the “upper midfield” of test results.
The leading Taiwanese tyre manufactures are reportedly planning to raise prices by between 8-12 per cent during 2017. According to local news reports, the price hike is a reaction to the jump in synthetic rubber and natural rubber prices.
Kenda has promoted Brandon Stotsenburg to vice president of its North American Automotive tyre business. Currently director of business development, Stotsenburg succeeds Bob Phoenix, who is retiring 1 January 2017.
Kenda will exhibit new products specially designed for the European market to underpin its commitment to quality, the manufacturer states. Each of its latest products “use European requirements as a benchmark,” it added, “and have a clear focus on safety.” Its most important exhibit will be the latest Kenda ultra-high performance Emera A1summer tyre, which is designed to produce excellent handling on dry and wet roads with outstanding braking performance. The manufacturer will also shine a spotlight on its latest winter tyres; the Komendo Winter for vans and the Wintergen 2 for cars. Each of these new-generation products has been developed with the intention of achieving “a breakthrough into Europe’s quality segment by offering products for the European market,” Kenda stated.
Kenda Tires will be promoting its brand on LED perimeter boards within the stadiums of leading Italian Serie A football teams Fiorentina, Lazio Rome, Sampdoria Genua, Udinese Calcio and CFC Genua.
According to the contract with Serie A marketer Infront, Kenda’s advertising will be displayed on all four sides of the playing field. Advertising in Italy’s top league is expected to allow Kenda to reach not only the fans attending the matches, but also millions of TV viewers via SKY Italia Go, Mediaset Premium, and Italy’s biggest club channel, the Juventus channel.
Following the news in late September that Kenda received an investment license for setting up a tire factory in Vietnam, further attention has been cast on both the local tyre market and the country’s attractiveness to foreign tyre manufacturers.
Taiwan’s Kenda Rubber intends to significantly increase investment in Vietnam and establish a large passenger car tyre plant there. In an interview with Channel NewsAsia correspondent Victoria Chen, company chairman Yang Ying-ming said NT$10 billion (£200.5 million) would ultimately be invested to erect this facility, which will most likely be Kenda’s largest tyre factory and boast production capacity rivalling that of Kenda’s operation in China.
Kenda USA has added another offering to their Kenda Klever line. The Klever S/T is designed to help fill a gap in the SUV/CUV marketplace with a 60,000 mileage warranty and M&S all-season capabilities. It will be available to order on 1 June, 2015.
As winner of the Taiwan Excellence Award, Kenda presented its latest products at a press conference 2014 together with other award winners at Automechanika on 17 September. Trade delegates from Taiwan as well as a high-ranking representative from Taipei were in attendance at the Frankfurt show. These included: Agnes Hwa-Yue Chen, Representative of Taipei in Germany, Chin-ling Yu, Director of the Taiwan Trade Center (TAITRA) in Düsseldorf, and Patty Lin, Project Manager at TAITRA.