Apollo Tyres Invests In Truck and Bus Radial Manufacture
Apollo Tyres is to invest 400 million rupees in truck and bus radial production at the company’s Limba plant. Apollo’s announcement follows the news in October 2005 that Michelin had bought Apollo Tyres’ stake in the two companies’ joint venture. At the time Michelin cited the “slower than projected pace” of radialisation as its reason for the move.
According to the Apollo, this factory already produces India’s first range of H-rated passenger car tyres, the Apollo Acelere, in its radial unit. Limda came online in 1991 with an initial production capacity of 70 tonnes a day, which has risen to over 300 tonnes a day. The range of products manufactured here includes passenger car radials, truck bias, light truck and farm radial and bias tyres.
Neeraj R S Kanwar, chief operating officer, Apollo Tyres Ltd, launched a digital clock on the shop floor to countdown to the time the first truck and bus radial (TBR) tyre will be sent to the market from here. The commercial launch of Apollo’s truck and bus radial tyre is expected to take place a year from now.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kanwaysaid: ”We already have the best radial products in passenger car, farm and light truck. The only segment remaining is the heavier commercial vehicles. In a year’s time, this gap in our arsenal will be filled to ensure our truck and bus customers who wish to switch to radial tyres can depend on us for this product also.”
Nearly 98 per cent of India’s heavy commercial vehicles run on bias tyres and the growth in radialisation has been slow. However, over time, with better infrastructure and modern vehicles a gradual move towards radialisation is expected, to take advantage of factors like safety, speed, fuel efficiency and mileage. Mr Kanwar added: “Even though the market segment is still very small, we feel Apollo needs to be present in this segment to retain its leadership position across all categories.”