Four Years Old  
and Growing  
by Casey Flores  
specs that would impress any tech-  
This Chinese film manufacturer came out of nical person, including two sput-  
tering machines that have 12 tar-  
gets each. This adds efficiency and  
allows the company’s output to be  
among the highest of existing film  
nowhere and is making its presence known in  
the USA. Do they have what it takes to succeed?  
manufacturing plants.  
Beyond that, its line can lami-  
With more than 4,053 employees group. Window film accounted for nate and sputter rolls of film up  
in 80 countries, KDX is not just a 6- to 10-percent of those total to 80 inches in length—so 20- and  
massive publicly traded Chinese figures ($90-$152 million), and 40-inch rolls can be produced by  
company. It’s a global firm with Li expects them to go up from cutting those larger rolls in quar-  
its hand in many major industries there—thanks to what he calls a ters or half, saving on time and  
including plastics, carbon fiber for few key advantages.  
automotive brakes and wheels, and  
manpower. Li thinks the 80-inch  
rolls will be a hit in the U.S. archi-  
tectural film market. “Companies  
New Age Efficiencies  
even the UV coating on magazine  
Completed at the end of 2013, can use two installers [to put up  
Kangde Xin (as it’s known in the company’s window film pro- the film]. This size is quite popular,  
China) has existed since the late duction line is the newest in the and we have a lot of orders from  
990s but only entered the win- world—and is soon to double in Southeast Asia and China,” he says.  
dow film industry four years ago. size with an even newer one under The company also saves on pro-  
In just a short time, window film construction. This will give the duction when it comes to labor.  
has grown to become a significant company “the biggest film manu- Wages in China are lower than  
portion of the business. In 2016, facturing plant in the world,” when U.S. levels, and the plant’s located  
the company’s total sales were it finishes construction in 2018, about 2.5 hours from Shanghai, so  
1.52 billion USD, according to according to marketing director the cost of living is less expensive  
George Li, vice president of the Yolanda Wang. and many workers live on site for  
company’s optical film industry  
The latest production lines have free (they only pay electricity).  
Plant Stats  
4.5 billion USD  
Cost of the plants  
74 acres  
Started Selling  
Window Film  
7 and under:  
ages of most plant workers  
sputtering lines  
with 12 targets  
film slitters  
Clean Room rating:  
The company’s stock value has risen more than 400% percent since it  
started selling window film in 2013.  
Coating head clean rating:  
Additionally, working in a manufac- to block UV rays—a spec likely  
turing plant there is considered a prompted by the seriousness with  
promising, cutting-edge career for which Asian people take skin dam-  
younger people.  
age. That mindset contributed  
We make a lot of products in greatly to KDX’s initial film growth.  
China, and our cost is lower here,”  
Li says. “In the U.S., human resourc-  
es are expensive. When plant work-  
Asian Launch  
KDX Window Film caught on in  
ers work in the U.S. for a long the Asian market quickly—allowing  
time, you need to pay them a lot of for a speedy return on the initial  
money. We are a new company with production line investment of $1.8  
young workers. In manufacturing billion USD. For the first year of sales  
labor, we have a 10- to 20-percent (2015), the company sold its film to  
cost difference.” Of its 140 plant the Asian market exclusively with a  
technicians, the average worker concentration in China. According  
was born after 1980 and makes to Li, China is the biggest market due  
890 USD per month starting out. to the automotive film penetration.  
In addition to saving on labor “In the U.S., maybe 10 percent of the  
and film production, KDX manufac- cars get auto film but, in China, it’s  
tures the polyester used to make 90 percent,” he says. “[Protecting  
film from chips. This allows for the skin] is part of the culture.”  
streamlined efficiencies and com- He recounts his lunchtimes in col- All films are tested across a  
petitive pricing—even as its prod- lege when all the Europeans and number of measures. Here, this  
ucts are shipped all over the world. Americans would eat outside and film is inspected for optical clarity.  
Saving on production allows “all the Asians ate inside,” he says.  
the company to invest more in Being only about 20 years old, the  
research and development. In automotive industry is still explod- Skin Cancer deaths per  
fact, with more than 10 percent of ing in China, and with such a strong  
the company’s budget dedicated desire for UV protection, it should  
every 100,000 people  
to R&D, new innovative products provide sales growth for KDX for the  
are also in the works—its most foreseeable near future.  
recent being a brand new paint  
Being close to the customer has  
protection film (PPF) line. “Our worked in the company’s favor,  
PPF is self-healing at room tem- with Li guessing KDX ranks sec-  
perature,” Li says.  
KDX’s films also do their part  
continued on page 34 Source: World Health Organization  
Four Years Old  
continued from page 33  
We’re preparing marketing materials to support  
our customers and are thinking about what’s  
the best way to launch all these new products.”  
Arturo Chapas, sales and marketing manager  
ond in the Chinese market for that. “One, the U.S. is one of the  
016—just one year after they biggest markets in the world … We  
started selling film. want to be a global brand so we  
Spotlight - Stats  
This feat comes without any need good products, good technolo-  
assistance from the Chinese gov- gy and good service in the U.S. Two,  
ernment, he says. “If we get any in the U.S., they still have a lot of  
money from the government, we new technology, and if we work well  
need to publish that in our report,” with the U.S., we can combine our  
he says. “We don’t get any for our technology and make more good  
window film division. In China, that products. And the U.S. is still the  
only happens if you create a new center of the world, so if we want  
Warehouse Size:  
5,000 Square Feet  
Initial Film Purchase:  
200,000 inventory  
technology or make something for to provide to more countries such the market,” Li says. “We will be  
the military.” as Latin America, the U.S. is still the very close to the U.S. customer  
In 2016 the company moved on to center, so we want to work both the through []. We will  
selling to the European market and, Chinese and U.S. markets. Both are brand KDX as a U.S. supplier—not  
in 2017, started sales in the U.S.  
huge markets, but the customer’s a Chinese supplier. We will become  
habits are different.” a U.S. brand, not a Chinese brand,”  
According to Li, the company sent he explains—but he won’t elab-  
Destination: USA  
While it started selling in the out samples of carbon films to deal- orate further on that. The com-  
U.S. in 2017, the company has been ers late last year, and they got an panies have signed a three-year  
making a marketing push since 8-9/10 rating on each. They are now exclusive agreement, which they  
015 to up its brand. The compa- in the process of reformulating to plan to update annually.  
ny has had impressive booths at improve their color to better match  
SEMA for the past three years and factory glass used in the states.  
“It’s quite an undertaking to enter  
a new market, and I feel like it’s  
at the International Window Film  
The company has also struck going to be a lot of work, but look-  
Conference (WFCT) for the past a deal with Houston-based dis- ing at the technology KDX possess-  
two. It’s clear its representatives tributor “It is our es, they have a lot to offer the indus-  
take the U.S. market seriously.  
national distributor in the U.S.  
Li says there are two reasons for They are our long-term partner in  
continued on page 36  
Four Years Old  
continued from page 34  
I want more shops, and  
my goal is to have 20 in  
Shanghai. I want everyone  
here to know Ming Che Fang.”  
Huang Jinchuan, Owner Ming Che Fang  
try,” says Arturo Chapa, sales and owners, with more than 90 percent  
marketing manager of TintDepot. of his PPF customers protecting  
com. “I think KDX is a game changer their entire car. Owning a car in  
because the machinery they have the Shanghai area is anything but  
allows for them to produce compet- cheap—on top of the car purchase,  
itive film and new products that our a license plate in the region costs  
Shop Stats  
Film Installations:  
customers don’t know about.”  
$11,600 USD due to regulations—  
So is the U.S. window film market so it makes sense for owners to  
too saturated for another major want to protect their investment.  
player? Time will tell. But with an Jinchuan only wants the best of  
arsenal of films in all shades, sizes the best tinters, so while he esti-  
and qualities, a dominance of the mates the average shop pays its  
Asian market and its sights set on installers $17,400 annually, his  
the U.S. heavily, it seems the com- employees make $40,000 while his  
petition for tinters’ business just managers earn close to $90,000.  
PPF Installations:  
Average PPF Invoice:  
Average Tint Invoice:  
got a lot more intense.  
With that kind of investment, his  
employees are happy.  
Number of Shops:  
Dealer Spotlight:  
Making Workshops  
I train all of my employees how  
to tint first,” he says. “Once they’re  
trained, I pay them more. It’s too  
expensive in China for them to  
Annual Income Per Shop:  
1.5 million USD  
Shanghai-based Ming Che Fang leave and start their own shop.”  
Famous Car Workshop), is one of While Jinchuan is one of KDX’s  
Managers’ Annual Salaries:  
KDX’s top dealers. Owner Huang top dealers, his goal is to be num-  
Jinchuan started the company 15 ber one.  
89,000 USD  
years ago just as the automotive  
industry was picking up in China, is to have 20 in Shanghai,” he says.  
so it “grew very fast,” he explains. “I want everyone here to know  
Now, he targets high-end car Ming Che Fang.” WF  
“I want more shops, and my goal  
Tinters’ Annual Salaries:  
40,000 USD  

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