North American debut for Apollo truck-bus tyre range
Apollo Tyres aims to gain a foothold in the North American commercial vehicle market with tyres produced at its plants in Europe and India. The roll-out of commercial vehicle tyres in the USA and Canada follows the introduction of a comprehensive passenger vehicle range, but this time the tyre maker will market its products under the Apollo brand rather than as Vredestein tyres. Apollo Tyres says the launches of both ranges have been preceded by years of in-market research and planning.
“Apollo may be a new name in the US and Canada, but we are not a new company. Our market entry in North America is preceded by decades of global commercial vehicle tyre manufacturing and distribution expertise,” says Abhishek Bisht, Assistant Vice President, Americas, Apollo Tyres. “We come to market positioned to make an immediate impact by offering a tier 1 value proposition at a more attractive price, while setting new industry standards for service and support.”
The launch of the Apollo commercial vehicle tyre range in North America is the culmination of a five-year research and development process that “provided the insights necessary to deliver not just the right products for the fleets that depend on them, but also to develop a business infrastructure that builds trust and properly serves Apollo’s dealers and their commercial clients.”
Tyres were tested with a US waste-removal/haulage fleet prior to launch to benchmark against Tier 1 competition across multiple retread cycles under punishing daily use. Apollo Tyres reports that the results of this testing “demonstrated the quality levels and performance consistency of Apollo’s tyres that easily meet or exceed the typical service requirements of the North American fleet customer while delivering outstanding value in terms of total ownership cost across the tyre’s lifespan.”
“Our R&D efforts made it clear that a successful North American dealer strategy had to be based on transparency,” comments Bisht. “Our commercial dealers are trusted customers and partners, and we will not compete with them by selling directly to fleets. Our focus is on empowering our dealers to deliver best-in-class value, service and support to their commercial clients.”
90% market coverage by 2024
Apollo’s range of truck-bus tyres for North America will be produced in its manufacturing units in Gyöngyöshalász, Hungary and Chennai, India; the tyre maker says both plants “boast the capacity and technical expertise needed to ensure a steady supply of tyres” to this market.
The Apollo truck tyre line-up will encompass a full range of regional, super-regional, coach/urban and mixed-use applications with fitments for rims ranging from 17.5 inches to 24.5 inches. 13 SKUs are planned for this year, which will be expanded to 23 SKUs by the second half of 2022, and a total of 45 SKUs covering 90 per cent of the marketplace by 2024.
Exclusive territories, 72h deliveries
Apollo dealers in North America will have contractually guaranteed exclusive sales territories. A single invoice-pricing structure for the entire dealer network will further level the playing field, with volumes bonuses that reward sales performance.
The company guarantees 72-hour nationwide product delivery to dealers via a network of domestic regional distribution centres, and all dealers are empowered to resolve customer complaints and process adjustments on site. Apollo Tyres says its online ecosystem gives dealer teams easy, timely access to sales and training materials, allowing them to easily onboard new employees and stay up-to-date on new products and processes.
All Apollo commercial vehicle tyres are backed by a 72-month workmanship and material warranty, and Apollo is the only commercial vehicle tyre brand to offer a standard, free road-hazard warranty in addition to that.
“This is a thrilling moment in our company’s history that will let us showcase the breadth and depth of our capabilities in one of the largest, most diverse and most demanding commercial markets in the world,” says Abhishek. “We know that we have the people, products and passion to go the distance for our dealers and their clients. Like them, we are in this for the long haul.”