LAS VEGAS (Nov. 17, 2009)—Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., reacting to the recent imposition of 35-percent antidumping duties on Chinese-made consumer tires, will move some radial passenger and light truck tire capacity to Taiwan from a plant in China in the coming six to 12 months.
The company, the world's No. 32 tire maker with 2008 sales of $616 million, also is scouting locations for a seventh tire plant, to be built outside of Taiwan and China, according to Bob Phoenix, vice president of sales for American Kenda Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd.'s automotive tire division.
Asia is the most likely location for the plant, Phoenix said during a conversation at the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, but the company is not ruling out building it outside of the Asia/Pacific realm.
As for moving radial capacity to Taiwan, Kenda has budgeted roughly $30 million to relocate radial tire production to a plant in Taiyuan from Shenzhen, China—in part to ensure a continued supply of tires for U.S. customers, Phoenix said.
Kenda's headquarters plant in Tiayuan has no radial capacity, he said. The project likely will include expanding the plant's footprint, although the factory has only a limited amount of space on which to build.
As a result, Kenda will evaluate a number of overseas options for a seventh plant. Kenda has two plants in Taiwan, three in China—including a joint venture with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.—and one in Vietnam.