Rosava Counts on OE Orders From Volkswagen
Not all of the Soviet Union’s tyre manufacturers exhibited at Tires & Rubber Moscow in March. While Amtel and Sibur decided not to come, Niznekamshina, Belshina, Moscow Tyre Plant and Rosava (from the Ukraine) all booked floorpsace.
Rosava, a closed joint-stock company which is listed but not traded on the stock exchange, belonged to Amtel until a year ago, then a Ukrainian investment bank called “Finance and Credit” took over. Before and after that change of ownership, the annual production was and is about 6.7 million tyres, explains Rosava’s deputy commercial director Roman Y. Rybachuk. This output includes some 6 million (radial only) passenger car tyres and 700,000 truck tyres. The manufacturer supplies about 50 per cent of the Ukrainian PC market, Mr Rybachuk continues. And about 20 per cent of the annual output (1.4 million units) is exported to Russia, and another 10 per cent to the other CIS states.
The factory was founded by the Soviets in 1972 because there was a need for additional passenger car tyre production capacities. In particular growing demand for the Lada made this foundation necessary at the time. Truck tyre production was taken on three years after the initial foundation of the factory.
Rosava still supplies several OEM manufacturers, says the deputy commercial director. For example the Ukrainian Avtozaz factory (formerly known as Avtozaz-Daewoo) orders Rosava tyres; for Avtozaz, Opel (Vauxhall) models such as Astra, Vectra, Corsa. Other Chevrolet models are also assembled there. Even the Mercedes C class is assembled in the formerly state-owned car factory and is partly equipped with Rosava tyres. According to Roman Y. Rybachuk Avtovaz also continuously orders Rosava tyres as OE for its Lada.
In Rosava’s headquarters in Belaya Tserkov about 100 kilometres away from Ukraine’s capital Kiev, the managers are particularly proud about an already initiated OE deal with Volkswagen. According to this deal about 300,000 passenger car tyres will be supplied by Rosava for the assembly of the Skoda Fabia in Slovakia. Within the new Eastern European member states to the EU the Fabia holds a market share of about 17 per cent (2005) and thus is market leader.
By the end of next year the new owner of the Rosava factory wants to invest about $100 million into the modernisation of its facility. Since Amtel sold its majority share to the Ukrainian investment bank already $20 million had been invested. Among others, this capital expenditure is deemed to install more modern commercial tyre production capacities. Until now 22.5-inch truck tyres have barely been produced at Rosava. Instead 20-inch truck tyres have been produced to conform with the market demands – something that is changing now. The manufacturer is also aiming at Western export markets with its investments into product quality, the deputy commercial director says. Today Rosava is already selling tyres into Western Europe although this is just a small quantity of the overall output and these are mainly agricultural products.