Übersee-Feldwies, Germany – Kenda is planning a “large-scale expansion” of its European development department, the Taiwanese tire maker announced 3 Feb.
Potential sites, it said, are being studied for the facility, which will include modern development labs and advanced measuring and testing capabilities.
The announcement accompanied news of additions to the development team at Kenda Europe Technical Centre (KETC) in Winsen (Luhe), Lower Saxony, Germany.
These include Antonio Gallo, a tire tester with extensive experience at Ferrari, who has already assisted testing of Kenda’s soon-to-launch Wintergen SUV winter tire, in Ivalo, Finland.
The team also includes head of tire development Tony Mesi, who has 12 years of experience, including as an engineer for Bridgestone.
Kenda said it plans to hire two additional development engineers, who will focus mainly on the area of computer-aided simulation methods using finite element analysis (FEA).
“We’re now taking a crucial step towards independence,” says Frits van der Steege, the senior engineer and director who has built up the Kenda Europe centre.
While KETC will continue to collaborate closely with Kenda R&D centres in the US and Taiwan, van der Steege believes it is now “very well positioned” to focus more on the European market.
“We’re well aware,” he said, “that products for the European market have to be developed in Europe, too. It’s vital for us to be right at the heart of the action – this is the only way we can grow and build a lasting, stable market.
“Our aim is to work closely with one of the major European car manufacturers, in order to go into series production for original equipment – and that’s what we’re laying the foundations for right now.”