ITMA latest news

Well positioned with fresh manpower – KENDA expands its research and development centre in Germany

March 2nd, 2020

The development team at KENDA Europe Technical Center (KETC) in Winsen (Luhe) has been reinforced. Antonio Gallo from Italy has joined as a tyre tester: he will be putting the Taiwanese manufacturer’s quality high-performance tyres through their paces.

The new man at KETC joined the team in January and has extensive experience as a tyre tester with Ferrari. He has already successfully completed his first assignment for KENDA: At the beginning of the year, final development testing on ice and snow was carried out for the new Wintergen SUV in Ivalo, Finland, at icy temperatures of minus 12 degrees Celsius. The testing looked at braking, cornering and handling in difficult weather conditions. The winter tyre for SUV vehicles is expected to be ready for market launch this year.

In addition to Antonio Gallo and “front man” Frits van der Steege – the senior engineer and director who has built up the Technical Center and carried out performance tests himself for many years – the team also includes Tony Mesi and Tobias Kathke. Tony Mesi is head of tyre development and has 12 years of experience, including working as an engineer for Bridgestone. He is supported by development engineer, Tobias Kathke.
The plan is to hire two additional development engineers who will focus mainly on the area of computer-aided simulation methods using Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

KENDA is not only investing in new employees, however: The company is also planning a large-scale expansion of its European development department that will include modern development laboratories and the very latest measuring and testing technology for quality control. Potential new sites with sufficient space are already being considered.
“We’re now taking a crucial step towards independence,” says Frits van der Steege. “Of course we’ll still be collaborating very closely and intensively with our research and development centres in the USA and Taiwan. But thanks to our additional staffing and the expansion of our development department, we’re very well positioned as far as the European market is concerned. We’re well aware 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.”

Frits van der Steege has a clear vision of what is planned for the years to come: “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!”

Founded in 1962, KENDA RUBBER IND. CO. LTD has, through its values of “honesty, quality, service and innovation”, achieved 26th place on the ranking of the largest tyre manufacturers in the world. KENDA produces high quality tyres and tubes for bicycles, motorcycles, quads, lawn and garden equipment, caravans, golf carts, compact loaders, forklift trucks, cars and small trucks with a total of 11,000 employees in Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the United States and Germany. KENDA has customers and distributors in almost every country of the world. The Research and Development centers in the USA, Germany, Taiwan and China are developing tyres specifically for the European and German market. KENDA RUBBER INDUSTRIAL CO. EUROPE GMBH has its headquarters in Übersee-Feldwies, Germany.