Bridgestone On Track With Indian CV Radial Rollout
Radialisation is taking root in India’s commercial vehicle tyre market, and Bridgestone is taking steps to secure its share of this potentially huge market. At a the opening of a Bridgestone Fleet Point outlet in Chennai on October 11, the managing director of Bridgestone India confirmed the tyre maker was on target to begin truck and bus radial production next May. Initial TBR manufacture will take place at Bridgestone’s Kheda plant in Madhya Pradesh state, where truck radial capacity is being added through a US$36.7 million investment. Daily production will start at 200 units and almost double within a year.
Commercial vehicle radial production at Kheda is just the beginning for Bridgestone in India, however. “By 2013 we will launch [our] new production facility at Chakan near Pune at investments of almost 26 billion rupees (£367.7 million),” said managing director Hiromi Tanigawa. Bridgestone’s new plant, announced in early July, is scheduled to begin TBR production in August 2013 and produce 3,000 truck and bus radials per day by 2020, along with 10,000 passenger car radials per day. Tyres manufactured there are expected to have 40 per cent localisation, thus educing import duty incurred on shipments from Japan, Tanigawa said.
According to the managing director, India’s TBR market is currently around 12 million units a year.