Ceat Still Confident of Attracting Partners
Much was said during the course of 2007 about Ceat’s plans for new greenfield facilities, particularly the company’s unsuccessful attempts to secure a joint venture partner for a truck and bus radial plant. The new year sees this pattern continue, and on February 8 India’s Hindu Business Line reported that the company is seeking “international players” as equity partners in two new greenfield projects.
Vice-president for Sales & Marketing, Arnab Banerjee, told the paper that Ceat is in talks with several such companies, and as part of the deal the Indian manufacturer would hold a majority share in any venture. “We should be able to finalise the partners soon. The production should start within a couple of years,” he said.
One of the facilities will apparently be established in the state of Maharashtra, and have a capacity between 40 and 80 tonnes per day – part of this capacity will be transferred from Ceat’s Bhandup plant. The other facility, whose location has not yet been finalised, will have a daily capacity between 100 and 150 tonnes. Total investment in the two projects is expected to be close to Rs 8 billion (£103.7 million).
Once production at the two facilities is underway Ceat intends to begin the export of passenger car tyres, Mr Banerjee said. He referred to Ceat as the largest exporter of tyres from India (with exports accounting for 20 per cent of the company’s total turnover between April and December 2007), and spoke to the Business Line about plans to set up sales and marketing offices in several countries as a first step towards consolidating and increasing its exports. “Our exports are [a] profitable part of our business and we expect to maintain the same share till we add new capacities,” he said.