American Kenda Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd. (dba: Kenda USA) celebrated its 50th year in the tire business on Sept. 14 with an anniversary event at its Reynoldsburg location.
“The milestone is one fantastic number to hit. 50 years is not something a lot of people reach and we're so happy that we're able to not only make it to 50, but then look forward to another 50,” said Eric Yang, automotive tire marketing manager for Kenda.
“The event has gone great so far. We just finished an entire renovation of our office to fit more people since we are growing so fast, so not only are we happy to have everybody come see our 50th anniversary and celebrate with us, but we're also happy for everyone to come see our new digs….”
Mr. Yang told Tire Business that Kenda essentially stripped down the entire Reynoldsburg main office area by expanding into the warehouse area to create some added conference rooms, meeting rooms and a new cafeteria space.
The expansion added 1,300 square feet to the original 6,300 square feet of the office area.
He said the 50th anniversary event was the first time many people had gotten to see the expansion, being that the company completed it at the end of August.
The cost of the expansion was not disclosed.
Kenda is looking forward to the future with both short and long term goals for both the overall tire market and in the automotive segment.
“Short-term goals are always to maintain the business and continue to keep a steady line of improvement. We are always continuously looking to innovate just our products and expand our products to meet the current market demands,” Mr. Yang explained. “Long term, we are definitely looking to really become a major player in the tire business. We recently started to make automotive tires, which we feel like will get us to that next level to compete with the name brands that people do know and do remember.”
Mr. Yang said Kenda expanded into the automotive tire segment not only to have the capability to compete with major players, but to also help the tire maker's presence in other segments. He noted everyone knows automotive tire brands, but not in, for instance, the bicycle tire market, so its presence in automotive may lead to expansion in other areas.
“We definitely want to utilize our existing customer base and we have a very loyal customer base with our existing products with the lawn tires, the trailer tires, with the bike tires, motorcycle tires. All these segments that we are currently involved with have such a loyal fan base that we think it's only smart for us to utilize this fan base since they trust and know the Kenda brand already.
“We hope that they will also accept and trust our automotive tires, which we built with the same quality and devotion and put so much effort, the same amount of effort, as we do with the other tires as with our automotive tires. Hopefully people will recognize that quality you are getting with your other tires, which they already trust, will be the same quality you get with our automotive tires,” Mr. Yang said.