By Alex Kapadia
A major tyres manufacturer is transferring production from a plant in China so it can avoid the 35 per cent hike in tariffs imposed on Chinese-made tyres exported to the US.
Taiwan’s Kenda, ranked the world’s 32nd largest tyres maker, plans to move some radial passenger and light truck capacity tyres back home over the coming six to 12 months.
The company has budgeted roughly $30 million to relocate radial tyre production to a plant in Taiyuan from Shenzhen, China—in part to ensure a continued supply of tyres for US customers, according to Bob Phoenix, vice president of sales for American Kenda.
He said Kenda’s headquarters plant in Tiayuan has no radial capacity and the project likely will include expanding the plant’s footprint, although the factory has only a limited amount of space on which to build.
However, the company is now also is scouting locations for a seventh tyre plant, to be built outside of Taiwan and China, according to Phoenix.
He said Asia is the most likely location for the plant, but the company is not ruling out building it outside of the Asia/Pacific realm.
Kenda already has two plants in Taiwan, three in China—including a joint venture with Cooper —and one in Vietnam.