Ceat passenger range to arrive in Europe this year
Alongside the agricultural and off-road tyres it is well known for in Europe, at Reifen 2012 Indian manufacturer Ceat showed off its passenger car tyre range – a line-up it intends to bring to Europe in the very near future. “At Reifen we are firstly promoting our truck and bus radial and passenger car tyre lines,” Trilok C Goel, Ceat’s executive director of specialty tyres and business development, commented to Tyres & Accessories. “We are already quite strong in agri in Europe.”
The passenger car line-up destined for Europe is manufactured at Ceat’s newest factory, its Halol plant in India’s Gujarat state. Between 25 and 40 per cent of output from the Halol factory, which will eventually be expanded to a total annual capacity of 12 million units, has been earmarked for export. “Our passenger car and truck and bus radial factory is relatively new,” said Goel. “Production started there some eight to nine months ago and now we are making a strong focus on Europe. We plan to start European sales in around three months’ time. We have sizes that Europeans want.” The Ceat passenger portfolio contains several lines, including the Milaze and Milaze LT, Czar, Theta and Gripp. The executive director of specialty tyres and business development shared that testing for the European label is almost complete and the results will be announced soon.
Ceat’s plans to sell its passenger car range in Europe were aided by the company’s November 2010 acquisition of brand name rights from Pirelli for nine million euros. Prior to the agreement, the tyre maker was only permitted to sell tyres under the Ceat name in nine countries, namely India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Outside these markets, Ceat used other brand names, including Altura. As of 1 January 2012 Ceat gained the right to use its own name in Europe, Latin America, Mexico and Turkey, and at the start of next year the brand name will become the exclusive property of Ceat Ltd.
The company’s focus on its consumer tyres and their upcoming European launch did not overshadow its commercial portfolio at Reifen 2012 completely, however. New products on display at the Ceat stand included the Pro R10 truck supersingle trailer tyre in size 385/65 R22.5 and the Port-Pro SL harbour application tyre in size 18.00 33. “We are in the truck and bus radial, passenger car radial, light truck, suv and port, mining, flotation, industrial and motorcycle sectors,” Goel noted. “We make almost every category of tyre.”