In April, Global Kenda CEO Jimmy Yang said Kenda dominates 80 percent of the golf cart tire industry during a tour of the Kenda American Technical Center—where he also had announced the launch of the new, customer-exclusive golf cart tire.
Johnson, however, claims the company's reach is far greater.
On the OEM front for golf course fleets, he estimated Kenda dominates closer to between 95 and 98 percent, with similar numbers for the personal transportation market.
While the golf cart industry has grown the past couple years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson said he hasn't seen other leading tire companies not already in the golf industry attempting to break in.
"It's not enough volume for their space," he said, noting top ranking tire makers are more focused on the automotive industry and the transition to an EV era.
Other major golf cart tire manufacturers, he added—like Carlisle, Duro and Innova—typically focus more on aftermarket replacement tires and are much smaller companies in comparison to Kenda.
But there's no room for complacency, he added, noting that while Kenda can "hold its own" in the industry, there's always room for competition, and those competitors' strides don't go unnoticed.
"When you're at the top, you're the furthest to fall," he said.
To maintain its lead in the market, Kenda seeks ways to innovate and expand.
And one way Kenda has done this, Johnson said, caters to the "wow"-factor of a personalized golf cart that enhances the tire of the ride as opposed to the body.
"What makes a customer go 'wow' when they see (their cart) is also the rim, or the wheel the tire is mounted on," he said, noting Kenda has expanded into its aluminum and custom wheel design offerings.
"We don't just sell them a tire by itself. ...We have developed a very large offering of aluminum, custom, bling-bling wheels," he said with a smile.
So golf carts as personal transportation vehicles may not be all about the bling, but if Kenda can help it, the bling is certainly still there.