LAS VEGAS (Dec. 3, 2009)—Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., in reaction to the recent imposition of 35-percent antidumping duties by the U.S. government on Chinese-made consumer tires, is considering moving some radial passenger and light truck tire capacity to Taiwan from a plant in China in the next six to 12 months.
The Taiwanese company, the world's No. 32 tire maker with 2008 sales of $616 million, also is scouting locations for a seventh tire plant, said Bob Phoenix, vice president of sales for American Kenda Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd.'s automotive tire division. The factory won't be built in Taiwan or China.
Asia is the most likely location for the factory, Phoenix said while attending 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 possibly moving radial capacity to Taiwan, Kenda figures it would have to budget roughly $30 million to relocate tire production to a plant in Taiyuan, in part to ensure a continued supply of tires for U.S. customers, Phoenix said.
Kenda's headquarters plant in Taiyuan has no radial capacity, he said. The project likely would include expanding the structure, although the factory has a limited amount of space on which to build.
As a result, Kenda will evaluate a number of overseas options for a seventh tire operation.