Posted by Editoress on 01/16/12
Canadian Cyclist was invited to visit a number of Taiwanese bike companies in the fall of 2011. Here is one of our factory visits - to read the overview to our visit and access all the articles, go to the main page Here
This year (2012) is the 40th anniversary of Kenda, which is one of the top three bicycle tire manufacturers in the world, with projected revenue to reach $1 billion (US) in 2011. Kenda makes tires for a vast array of industries besides bicycles, including automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, scooters and golf carts, but bicycle tires are the largest segment, accounting for between 35% and 405 of total sales (automotive is the next largest at 25%).
The numbers are staggering:
- 10,000 employees in 7 factories across 3 countries (Taiwan, China and Vietnam)
- 260,000 bike tires per day
- 360,000 bike tubes per day
While many tires are for the lower end of the market, Kenda also produces some of the top tires in the world, and riders won gold, silver and bronze medals on Kenda rubber at the Beijing Olympics. Among the riders on Kenda are Tinker Juarez, Brian Lopes and John Tomac; each of whom is involved in the design and testing process for new tires. It should also be noted that, while 90% of the tires the company produces are branded with their own name, Kenda provides OEM for brands such as Norco, Trek, Mavic and Specialized.
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