JK Tyre Seeking 20% Indian Market Share
Expansion work at JK Tyre & Industries’ facility in the city of Mysore and its new project near Chennai will be completed this year and are expected to help the company secure more than 20 per cent of India’s tyre market. Speaking to the Hindu Business Line newspaper, company marketing director A.S. Mehta said the two projects would help the company attain a higher market share through raising the Mysore plant’s capacity from 800,000 to a million tyres a year and from the 400,000 tyres a year expected to be coming out of the new Chennai plant by the end of 2011.
As JK Tyre & Industries outlined last year, the new factory in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai will produce both truck and bus radial and passenger car radial tyres and the plant’s commissioning will help the company reach an annual domestic capacity of 15.5 million tyres by 2012. According to Mr. Mehta, the initial outlay at the plant is Rs 9.5 billion (₤132.8 million), however the total planned investment in the Chennai factory is believed to be Rs 15 billion (₤209.8 million).
Mr. Mehta discussed the two projects while attending the opening of the tyre maker’s first Truck Wheel service centre in India. The marketing director told the Business Line that “the company plans to commission ten such stores by March 2011 and add 20 more by next financial year. This is an exclusive offering for truckers and provides a very professional approach to maintenance of tyres. We believe there is a demand for such specialised outlets.”
Although Mehta referred to India’s commercial vehicle tyre sales as being ‘relatively sluggish’ in the final quarter of 2010, the national tyre market is growing at about 10 per cent. “We are eyeing a turnover of over Rs 6,000 crore (₤839 million) next fiscal from the domestic market,” he said. The marketing director added that “no decision” has currently been taken on price rises to counter growing raw material costs.
JK Tyre produces India’s largest OTR tyre
Just before Christmas the company unveiled what is said to be the largest OTR tyre produced in India. Produced at the company’s Mysore facility, the 40.00-57 60PR VEM045 E4 tyre is some 12 feet tall and weighs around 3,700 kilograms. This fitment is used on 240 tonne dump trucks, which previously relied on imported tyres.
Upon introducing the tyre, JK Tyre & Industries vice chairman and managing director Dr. Raghupati Singhania said “we embarked on this project last year as part of our expansion plans. We are happy to announce that we had succeeded in achieving in this endeavour. With this launch, we have set another benchmark in the tyre industry. Our endeavour is to deliver benchmark performance in this category of products which is used in the most gruelling condition at mines and other application areas. With plans to bring in several pioneering technologies and benchmarking customer service standards there’s lot which we will roll out in future .”