Apollo Tyres’ European Launch
Apollo Tyres has officially launched its namesake brand in the European market, and announced plans to bring its Vredestein brand to its home country. The launch came just ahead of this week’s Reifen Essen, where Apollo is holding its first major display. Apollo said it plans to offers its flagship brand in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK this year, and will open new European markets in coming years. "Our current range, catering to the small and mid-size segment, will meet the growing demand in Europe. We will be available only at established retailers. We will not walk the wholesale route," Apollo managing director Neeraj Kanwar said.
Along with those expansion plans, Apollo has also set more ambitious revenue plans. “We have set a target, which is to become a $2 billion company by way of revenue by 2010-11,” Kanwar said. “Today, Apollo already has a turnover of $1.7 billion.” He added that Apollo aspires to enter the global tyremaker top ten, with a $5 billion top line, within the next five years.
At a media event held in Cologne, company chairman Onkar S Kanwar annouced that Apollo is entering Europe with an initial range of summer and winter passenger car tyres and 4×4 tyres that primarily represent the top 50 European sizes by volume. This is, he added, only a beginning and will be expanded over time. “Europe is a very crucial market for us,” said Kanwar. “Not just because it is one of the most demanding, but also because to make a place for ourselves in this saturated marketplace is not a small task. Our strategy for this very knowledgeable set of customers is to provide the best tyres, at the best price, backed by the best service proposition. And grow gradually over time, with increasing customer acceptance.” Distribution of the Apollo Tyres brand will be handled by a “hand picked” set of retailers, with the range initially available in the Netherlands – where Apollo is based in Europe – the UK, Germany and Italy, with a particular focus placed on the first three of these countries. The intention is to extend the range to the other EU lands as of March 2011.
“A major distinguisher for brand Apollo is the value that we will be delivering to our customers –high quality and technology standards at affordable prices,” commented Apollo Tyres managing director Neeraj Kanwar. “Given this, we will be available only with established Retailers and will not walk the Wholesale route. Our current range will cater to the small and mid-size segment and the growing 4×4 demand in Europe.” This plan to stick to this structure was confirmed by Apollo Vredestein CEO Rob Oudshoorn: “We are not going for wholesale – that is a very clear statement,” he said.
To meet its India market plans, Apollo said it will boost its Vredestein capacity from 5.1 million passenger tyres per year to six million passenger tyres per year.
Kanwar senior inaugurates Apollo’s Essen stand
In addition Onkar S Kanwar, Apollo Tyres Ltd chairman, inaugurated the Apollo Essen show pavilion (stand 3-211) on 1 June. This year’s event is the first time that the company has participated in Europe’s largest tyre show. Leading the range of passenger vehicle tyres are: Amazer 3G Maxx, Acelere, Aspire and Hawkz, along with the Acelere Winter and Hawkz Winter. Also on show are the Vredestein and Maloya brands. According to the company, the new generation Nextreme range of Winter tyres is key to the exhibit.
Onkar S Kanwar, Chairman, Apollo Tyres, said: “In this global world, there are two things very critical to business. One is to nurture people and the other to build brands. Both need to be done seamlessly across geographies. For us in Apollo, this is the beginning of a new and exciting journey. What is most heartening is the fact that we have with us a small but synergistic range of tyres and tyre brands, enabling us to cater to varying customer needs. More importantly, we have a team of high calibre sales and marketing people, and a much valued and enthusiastic retail network. Very few new brands have this advantage that we today enjoy.”