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Cooper and Kenda end marketing arrangement

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd. (d.b.a. Kenda USA Corp.) today announced that effective May 1, 2009, they will be ending their marketing and distribution arrangement with the Kenda brand in the United States and Canada, and at that time, Kenda will resume responsibility for the sales and marketing, distribution and customer service for the Kenda brand. 

Since November 2004, Cooper has been the exclusive marketer of Kenda radial passenger and light truck tires in the U.S. and Canada. That agreement granted Cooper exclusive rights to market, sell and distribute Kenda’s radial passenger and radial light truck tires.

“The decision to end our marketing and distribution relationship was a mutual decision between Cooper and Kenda,” says Phil Caris, vice president of sales and marketing at Cooper. “And while the results of the joint venture were positive, it was agreed that a new approach would be beneficial in pursuing each company’s brand strategy. We have been very happy with our relationship with Kenda. As we begin to look into the future, we felt this strategy put both companies in a better position in this tough economic environment.”

Jimmy Yang, president of Kenda USA, says, “Over the past few years, the Kenda-Cooper relationship has been beneficial for all parties involved. We are looking forward to the new direction of ‘re-launching’ our brand in the United States. As we take over the marketing activities for our brand, there is opportunity for growth in the U.S. without having to change our distribution infrastructure. The Cooper-Kenda partnership has definitely added value for the Kenda brand and will continue to help Kenda’s growth in the tire market.”

The transition for Cooper Tire dealers will be handled with a minimum of change and disruption so that customer service will not be affected, Cooper officials say.

Both companies will continue as partners in the radial passenger and light truck tire plant in China, and technical and other related matters.


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