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Top-end tires from China

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Top-end tires from China

Sentaida Group Co. Ltd. was born in Qingdao, Shandong, China, in 2008, during one of the most devastating recessions in United States history.

The company is increasing capacity at its consumer and commercial tire plant, despite an extra 30% tariff placed on consumer tires imported from China.

Nothing seems to faze the company, except its 9.6 million square foot manufacturing complex. It will reach full capacity in three phases over eight years.

As Sentaida grows, so does its portfolio. The Delinte line was launched a year ago. This year, the company showcased its new Landsail line at the Global Tire Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Delinte line is made up of ultra-high performance (D7 Thunder) and performance SUV (D8 Desert Storm) tires. In the future, mud terrain (D9 Mud Challenger) and light truck tires will be added to the lineup.

Sentaida International Inc., the parent company’s sales and marketing arm in the U.S., sells through 22 U.S. distributors, but is looking for more.

“Basically, we want to have coverage of Delinte for the whole country by working with our distributors,” says Max Wee, director of sales for Sentaida International. “We do not have full coverage yet.”

Landsail is Sentaida’s new premium tire brand. It is made up of three tire lines:

• LS288, a passenger tire line available in 25 13- through 16-inch sizes;

• LS988, a UHP line available in 18 W- or Y-rated sizes ranging from 215/55WR17 to 245/30WR20; and

• LSV88, a commercial van tire available in five 15- through 17-inch sizes.

A fourth line, the LS788, will be available by the end of 2011, according to Wee. It will be an SUV and light truck line available in 15- through 18-inch sizes. A Landsail winter tire program also is being reviewed.

From China with love

“Our goal is to be a top-end Chinese brand through service, fill rate, quality of product and communication,” says Wee. “We want to have a good name, a good reputation as a middle, even high-end brand.

“We want to provide a different experience for our customers, different from what they are used to.”

Wee has the same goal for Canada, where Sentaida International is in talks to add distribution for both brands. The company also sells tires to the Caribbean and “some Latin American countries.” More than 90% of Sentaida’s tires are shipped directly to its distributors. Wee says the company has a “filling” warehouse in Miami to take care of any shortages the distributors may have.

Sentaida also offers Sentaida brand medium truck tires. However, Wee says the company may begin manufacturing truck tires under the Delinte or Landsail name — or perhaps a new brand — in three or four years.

“And we still have plans to manufacture OTR tires.”    ■

The one and only plant

When completed, Sentaida Group Co. Ltd.’s tire plant in Qingdao, Shandong, China, will be able to build the following on an annual basis:

1. 15 million passenger, light truck and ultra-high performance tires.

2. 1 million radial truck tires.

3. 250,000 OTR (earthmover, grader) tires.

Max Wee, director of sales for Sentaida International Inc., says 40% of the plant’s production is earmarked for the United States.

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