Kenda USA combined “smooth and rough” at a special dual product launch event on Oct. 29 at the Vegas Off Road Experience compound in Boulder City, Nev., located about 25 miles outside of Las Vegas. Smooth was their new Vezda A/S KR205, a quiet grand- touring all-season tire. Rough was the Klever R/T KR601, an all-new rough-terrain tire.
In addition to top Kenda dealers and distributors, media, and company representatives, the event was attended by Kenda executives, including Ying Ming Yang, chairman of Kenda Rubber Ind. Co., Ltd., and Jimmy Yang, president
of Kenda USA. After an introduction and brie ng on the R&D, technology and market positioning of the expanding Kenda line, the groups made their way behind the wheels of matching Mercedes CLA250 for highway and track comparison tests, and later off the road – both experiences allowing guests to experience the two new Kenda products rsthand.
According to Brandon Stotsenburg, vice president of automotive for Kenda, both the Vezda A/S KR205 and Klever R/T KR601 tires are designed to offer premium performance at a value price. He added that the KR205 will be positioned 20-25% less than its Tier 1 competition, offering comparable performance, an aggressive warranty and a noticeably quiet ride as part of its value.
The Vezda A/S KR205 is designed for owners of touring and luxury touring vehicles who are want a quiet, high- quality tire at a great value, without sacri cing all-season performance and treadlife. The company says it provides Tier 1 performance and quality at a Tier 3 price point, positioned so Kenda dealers can turn a pro t.
The new KR205 features computer-optimized pitch sequencing. This results in noise reduction – which translates to a noticeably quiet ride – and increased wear performance. Higher sipe density maximizes winter and wet traction. Asymmetric tread patterns and strategically placed tie bars increase steering, stiffness and handling performance. It also was designed for superior hydroplaning and wet traction performance. Proprietary compounding technology and softer compounds allow for the better traction. The sidewall is designed to protect the tire from surface ruts and potholes.
“Our compounding group hit a home run,” said Dan
The Vezda A/S KR205 is tested on a performance course at the launch event. Kenda says its pricing the tire so “dealers can make a profit.”
Shavers, chief engineer and product development at Kenda. Shavers went on to say that the designs and features were developed and benchmark-tested, adding that the
development window was shorter due to their ability to optimize new features using use simulations, along with third-party testing to provide comparative results though independent evaluation.
Set to be manufactured at the new Kenda production facility in Vietnam and available to dealers in North America in Spring 2018, the KR205 includes a 65,000-mile warranty and will be available in 32 initial sizes rated H and V tting 15- to 19-in. rim diameters.
The ruggedly handsome Klever R/T KR601 is designed for off-road performance. A toothy “triple threat” sidewall with aggressive sidewall tread offers both traction and protection against cuts, scuffs and tears in challenging conditions. The KR601 is designed for rough terrain. Bead protector shields protect the rim from trail obstacles. Three full carcass plies ensure extra protection against impact and punctures. Interlocking tread blocks, aggressive tread and high sipe density make the tire a strong choice for snow, ice, wet and muddy conditions. And unique compounds used in its design help ensure grip and softness without sacri cing durability and wear. It also can accept winter studs.
The KR601will be available in 19 initial sizes in 17- to 22- inch rim diameters and in R speed ratings. Availability will start in the third quarter of next year.
Kenda USA is a subsidiary of Kenda Rubber Ind. Co., headquartered in Taiwan. Kenda Tire USA is based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Engineering and compounding for the new tire designs originated at Kenda’s North American Technology Center, located south of Akron, Ohio.