Indian Tyremakers Lobby Govt to Certify Tyre Imports
In a move that echoes events taking place in the US, India’s government has listened to demands from local tyremakers to only permit ‘certified’ tyres to be imported into the country, and is now considering what measures it will introduce. Calls for legislation banning the importation of tyres not meeting this criterion have ostensibly been made in response to a number of vehicle accidents involving reportedly sub-standard Chinese made tyres, however it is also no secret that Chinese tyre imports are hurting the bottom line of Indian tyre manufacturers.
In June representatives of India’s Industrial Policy and Promotion department, Consumer Affairs department and Bureau of India Standards met with those from vehicle and tyre producers to discuss this issue and prepare a case to present to the government. A proposal to introduce a US$135 anti-dumping duty on imported tyres has also been submitted to the government.
Rajiv Budhraja, director general of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) said, “tyres imported from China are generally low on quality and are not backed by any warranty, so no defect can be rectified at a later stage as there is no bill made for the sale.” ATMA hopes the introduction of a system of certification will lead to a substantial reduction in the importation of questionable quality products.
Indian government reports suggest that, between the period of April and January 2006, the industry imported an average of 90,000 truck and bus tyres per month, with imports from China accounting for 85 per cent of this amount. During 2005/06 the monthly quantity of imports was only 58,000. At present India’s leading truck and bus manufacturer, Tata Motors, sources its tyres from Hangzhou Zhonge. The Chinese tyremaker also recently held OE negotiations with vehicle makers Ashok Leyland and Eicher Motors, however Eicher Motors severed all ties with Hangzhou Zhonge when news of the Foreign Tire Sales controversy in the US became widely known.