TIANJIN, China (April 14, 2009)—Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. has opened its third tire plant in China, for motorcycle and bicycle tires initially, and secured an OE contract with Iran's largest car producer.
Kenda officially inaugurated the plant March 31 in Tianjin after a Phase 1 investment of $23 million.
The Taiwanese company intends to add capacity for radial car tires after Phase 2 of the project is completed, perhaps in three years' time. The projected production capacity for car tires would be at least 5 million units annually, the firm said.
Kenda did not disclose the project's total investment projection.
The new factory sits on 40 acres of land Kenda purchased in 2007. The company broke ground on the plant in August but has released no other details of the project.
Kenda's other plants in China are in Shenzhen and Kunshan, the latter a joint venture with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Kenda also has two plants in Taiwan and one in Vietnam. With fiscal 2007 sales of $592 million, Kenda was ranked 28th in last year's Tire Business list of the 75 largest global tire makers.
Kenda will be supplying Saipa Group, the largest automobile conglomerate in Iran, with about 200,000 tires per year for that maker's Pride five-passenger compact model. The contract's value was not disclosed.