GREEN, OhioThe Green City Council approved legislation recently that would clear the way for American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. to establish research and development operations within the city, about eight miles south of Akron.
Reynoldsburg, Ohio-based Kenda declined to comment on the resolution. The firm, a subsidiary of Taiwan's Kenda Rubber Industrial Co., announced plans in April 2014 for an Akron-area R&D center.
It set up temporary R&D operations last year on the premises of Martin Wheel Co., an affiliated company, in Tallmadge, Ohio.
The Green resolution said Kenda plans to hire about 45 permanent full-time employees with an annual payroll of about $4 million.
In the resolution passed Jan. 13, Green City Council authorized the execution of the Municipal Economic Development Grant Agreement, because Kenda is qualified by its financial responsibility and business experience to preserve employment opportunities and to improve the economic climate of the City of Green.
Under the grant agreement, Kenda must create 42 permanent full-time jobs with a payroll of about $4 million by year-end 2019 and maintain those levels through 2021.
The resolution outlined employment and payroll targets through the next four tax years, and they are:
201517 full-time employees with a $1.54 million payroll;
201622 full-time employees with a $2 million payroll;
201728 full-time employees with a $2.55 million payroll; and
201842 full-time employees with a $3.48 million payroll investment.
Green will reimburse half of Kenda's payroll withholding taxes if the company meets the job creation and payroll investment targets outlined in the resolution.
In a 2014 interview, Tom Williams, vice president of engineering at Kenda, said expansion is on the horizon for the Akron area.
We're not going to stay small in Akron. We're going to put more capability in place, Mr. Williams said. The only question is whether we want to do it jointly with Martin Wheel or independently.
American Kenda is a subsidiary of Kenda Rubber Industrial and sells passenger and light truck, motorcycle, ATV, industrial and bicycle tires in North America.
The company's added investment in R&D worldwide will support the firm's growth in car and light truck tires and the addition of truck radials.
Headquartered in Yuanlin, Taiwan, Kenda reported tire sales of about $1.1 billion in 2013, placing it 28th on Tire Business' 2014 Global Tire Report, which ranks the world's largest tire manufacturers based on tire sales.