The plant expansion and growth by Sentaida Group Co. Ltd. is on-schedule. To help celebrate and discuss its future plans, Sentaida officials invited a handful of its key dealers and Modern Tire Dealer to its plant in Qingdao, China.
The company used the plant tour to showcase its new equipment and commitment for quality. Lanny Lin, president of Sentaida Group Ltd. said, “Our plan is to have a brand mix that will be viewed as mid- to high-end in the marketplace.”
Known primarily for its Landsail and Delinte consumer tires in the United States, Lin said Sentaida currently is running an even mix of private brand tires to its house brands.
He then laid out the company’s five-year plan, along with some short-term strategies. The three key plans are:
1. be a first-class tire brand known worldwide for quality.
2. be a highly profitable tire manufacturer.
3. have a business philosophy known for high quality products along with building a long-term stable relationship with customers through a professional sales team coupled with service and technical assistance.
Sentaida’s factory produced 13,000 pieces per day in April of this year, and the plan is to be doing 24,000 pieces per day by December. All of the tires being produced are PCR, UHP, LTR, SUV and CUV consumer tires. Within five years, the factory is to be producing 20 million tires per year. Lin also said he wants to see a higher mix of house brand to private brand products by that time.
The company has started aircraft tire production at the facility, with a goal of 40,000 tires per year. This operation will include the startup of a retreading operation for the aircraft tires. Lin said the company wants to achieve a goal of being in the top 10 for quality before it begins to produce truck tires in the factory.
Lin also said the company wants to continue to be primarily an exporter of tires, with 80% of its tires being shipped abroad. Last year, Sentaida had sales of three million tires worldwide, and plans to sell six million in 2011.
“We want to sell more tires in the U.S. It’s the most important market for us,” said Lin.
Maxwell Wee, director of sales for Sentaida International Inc., based in Miami, Fla., said, “To do this, we know that we must build quality products and have better fill rates with more tires in the distribution channel.”
Wee said the company is continuing to look for distributors as the company’s capacity expands to increase its market penetration. This also means finding distributors who are selling more mainstream sizes of tires. To date, Sentaida has specialized in the performance-sized product segment of the industry.
The company wanted to assure its current dealers that they understand the need to maintain profitability for all levels of distribution. Wee said the company has 29 distributors with 36 warehousing points in the U.S. He believes the company needs another two to three years to adequately service the entire country with distributors.
During a product presentation, Sentaida officials said they hope to soon be adding a 30-inch tire to their line-up. Currently, the company has tires from 13- to 28-inches in 80-series to 25-series sizes. The company is bringing three different Lansail lines to the U.S. — the LS288 touring tire; the LS988, a sports UHP tire; and the LSV88, a commercial light truck tire. It is scheduling production of 19-inch and 20-inch sizes of its Landsail CLV5 luxury UHP SUV tires beginning in July; a CUV tire and a sports CLV2 tire in July; and 15-, 16- and 17-inch sizes of its all-terrain off-road tire, the CLV3, in August. Sentaida is also planning to add two series and 38 sizes to its Delinte line later this year.
Top-of-the-line from China -- Atlanta dealer has been on board since the beginning
Horace Bennett of Western Distributors of Atlanta Inc. has been “selling Delinte tires from the beginning.” Bennett owns the company along with two partners.
“I am a firm believer that Delinte are top-of-the-line as far as Chinese-produced tires go. I’ve dealt with many other Chinese companies over the years, and these are as high quality as it gets.”
Western Distributors has been in business for 26 years with warehouses in Atlanta, Charlotte and New Orleans. The company is well-known for its custom wheel and performance tire business. About 46% of the company’s business comes from tires. It has around 5,000 total customers on the books.
The key to his company’s success, according to Bennett, “is we are known for our availability and service. We aren’t the cheapest and don’t want to be.”
Across the Tire Universe -- Delinte is a delight to Texas dealer
Tire Universe has been selling the Delinte brand from Sentaida International Inc. since September 2009, according to owner Mustafa Abubaker.
Abubaker says Delinte is his highest volume ultra-high performance brand, and it accounts for 25% of his company’s total sales. The company also sells 13 other tire brands and 13 wheel brands.
“Sentaida’s been a solid partner. Their products are excellent in quality and their service is unparalleled.”
Tire Universe was founded in Texas by Abubaker in 2005. It has a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Dallas and a 27,000-square-foot warehouse in Houston. Tire Universe has more than 1,000 active customers.
“We are best known for our UHP products, even though we are getting into the metric and light truck tire business,” says Abubaker.