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September 22, 2017

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Leading tire-maker Kenda Rubber adds Indonesia plant

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In line with the government's "New Southbound Policy," Kenda Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd. — one of the two major tire makers in Taiwan — has set up a plant in Indonesia to turn out bicycle and motorcycle tubes and tires, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported Monday.

A CNA correspondent stationed in Jakarta just made a tour of the plant, named PT Kenda Rubber Indonesia and located in Serang County of Banten Province, in the company of the Indonesian subsidiary's Vice President Tseng Duen-sheng to learn what's going on at the plant.

Tseng told the correspondent that the process of turning raw rubber materials into finished tires, including molding, heating and cooling operations, was just like the process of cooking noodles, which includes kneading dough, pulling the noodles, and cooking.

"Manufacturing tires and cooking noodles share the same purpose of presenting standard finished products to consumers," Tseng was quoted as saying in the report.

Tseng said his plant kicked off production of bicycle and motorcycle tires in April. "In the second half of the year, our plant will turn out 20,000 bicycle tubes and 13,000 bicycle tires per day, mostly for the domestic market in Indonesia," he continued.

Bright Market Prospects

Touching on the sales prospects of the Indonesian market, Tseng said Indonesia boasts a large population with strong consumer capacity, generating great sales potential for many products including bicycle and motorcycle tires and tubes.

"If you go to shopping malls on holidays, you can sense the consumer mindset of Indonesians," Tseng said.

Sharing his experience tackling challenges working in the Indonesian market, Tseng acknowledged that it's difficult for people from Taiwan to adapt to the customs and practices of Indonesians — initially due to the language barrier and different ways of thinking and doing things.

"Every country has its own social and cultural features, and therefore the foremost job to do after arriving in Indonesia is to try and assimilate into Indonesian society and learn their modes of living and thinking. Then we can easily adjust our ways of doing things here to better adapt to the large market and environment," Tseng continued.

At the moment, Tseng's plant employs many female Islamic workers, all wearing hijabs and some able to speak Chinese. The plant also operates a Halal restaurant for its employees as an embodiment of its efforts to respect the local culture.

Optimistic about Gov't Policy

Tseng said he's quite optimistic about the "New Southbound Policy" promoted by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, adding that Kenda Chairman Yang Ying-ming is an Indonesia division convener at the Committee on Asia-Pacific Industrial Cooperation in charge of helping the government promote the policy.

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