Europe to head Apollo PCR research following restructuring
Recent restructuring to Apollo Tyres’ Research and Development team is aimed at creating “synergy and greater alignment to the company’s growth aspirations, and to generate speed and relevance while entering new markets,” the tyre maker states. Apollo has restructured its team across the three key regions where it operates and established a structure in which the development of commercial vehicle tyres will be directed from India and passenger car tyres from Europe. The heads of both operations will report directly to Neeraj Kanwar, vice-chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres.
The restructuring took place following a management-level decision to increase Apollo’s focus on core research and investment in research and development over the next few years. “We have merged our research and development resources of nearly 250 individuals from Africa, Europe and India, under the leadership of two of our finest experts,” said Neeraj Kanwar. “While commercial and personal vehicle tyre development and testing will be located in India and The Netherlands respectively, smaller teams across key markets will work on customising each global product to market requirements and testing under local conditions. This structure allows for a sharper focus on basic research, increased usage of alternative raw materials and market‐led product performance.”
P K Mohamed, chief advisor, Research & Development at Apollo Tyres leads the commercial vehicle (CV) tyre division, which is housed on the same campus as the company’s Chennai manufacturing facility; while Peter Snel, Group Head, Apollo Tyres Ltd spearheads the passenger vehicle (PV) tyre unit from a new facility being set up in Enschede, The Netherlands.
The location of each of the two centres was decided upon on the basis of current and potential commercial vehicle and passenger car tyre markets. The Middle East and Asia constitute nearly 59 per cent of the global commercial tyre market; while Europe and North America comprise 51 per cent of the world’s passenger tyre sales. This would enable both the R&D units to have closer interaction with OEM and replacement customers, testing centres, raw material suppliers and research institutes.
“Our clear focus is on bringing to market leaner yet robust products for the commercial segment; which deliver on the parameters of lower fuel consumption, increased tyre life and added safety features,” commented PK Mohamed.