Malhotra Growing in the Radial Business
Not many companies successfully negotiate the transition from retreading to the new tyre industry. India’s Malhotra Rubber Ltd., however, is one such firm. The company began producing cold cure retreading materials more than fifty years ago, but it was only in the late 1970s that it began the manufacture of new tyres. Much later, some five years ago, the Indian company entered the radial market with a commercial vehicle tyre intended for the domestic market. Despite this, the company’s offering in European markets continues to focus on the supply of cold cure retreading materials, which are sold under the ‘Malhotra’ brand name. The company stressed at Tyrexpo Asia that it also supplies materials for the as-yet not widespread Indian mould cure retreading industry – a line-up that includes bonding rubber and repair patches.
Malhotra’s range of new tyres has been substantially expanded since the company began production in 1978. The products on offer today include numerous agricultural, industrial, earthmover and small tyres. Truck and light commercial tyres also feature in the range, although most are crossply designs. The first Malhotra light commercial vehicle radial was only built as recently as 2003, a milestone that represents, according to company director Monit Malhotra, a significant furthering of the company’s know-how.
Commercial vehicle tyre radialisation in India has still not yet reached Western levels. The rate for heavy truck tyres is estimated to hover at around the 20 per cent mark, and slightly more for light commercial vehicles tyres. Thus it has been important for the company to seize upon the Indian market’s latest technical requirements as early as possible, before Chinese imports swallow up a large chunk of the Indian commercial vehicle tyre market.
Malhotra’s two light commercial vehicle radials – the MR-005 and MR-014 – are currently only available in the Indian domestic market. Nevertheless, the director continues, the company has bolstered its European presence during the last four or five years. Today Malhotra Rubbers exports its tyres and retreading materials to 68 countries and desires in future to particularly work on building up its European market position. “Today we have a European product range,” concluded Monit Malhotra.