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.
Following the inaugural edition in Goa two years back as well as thousands of smaller editions in different locations over the last 24 months, Apollo Tyres’ #BadRoadBuddies concept returns in a digital format. Since most of the activations have moved to the virtual space, the company has also chosen to build the community of enthusiasts online and is opening this event to SUV owners/drivers and the two-wheeler riders, who enjoy drives during the weekend or on leisure/adventure trips.
Apollo Vredestein is enhancing its European agricultural tyre production activities at its Enschede factory in the Netherlands by bringing a new 104-inch tyre press into service in mid-March. The newly-installed tyre press will mainly produce tractor tyres for the XL segment (up to 2.30 metres in diameter and weighing up to 550 kg), products suitable for tractors between 200 and 500 hp. The tyre maker says the commissioning of the press represents a “significant increase in capacity” for this tyre segment.
Apollo Tyres has launched a new tyre range to satisfy demand in India’s fast-growing compact SUV market. The tyre maker says it has introduced the Apollo Apterra Cross following two years of development and testing, and will initially offer the range in five sizes for 16- and 17-inch rim diameters. While Apollo Tyres currently has no plans to bring the Apterra Cross to Europe, it intends to distribute the range in ASEAN and SAARC markets at a later date.
Dutch tyre brand Vredestein is coming to India. During an investor call this month, parent company Apollo Tyres confirmed that Vredestein products are being manufactured in this market and will be introduced locally during the first quarter of 2021.
Apollo Tyres has unveiled a new eco-oriented tyre developed by its R&D facilities in Europe and India and offering a “best in class rolling resistance coefficient.” The tyre maker says the Apollo Amazer XP complies with BS VI, India’s equivalent of Euro 6 standards, and is electric vehicle ready. Apollo will initially only sell the Amazer XP range in India, including as an original equipment tyre for several vehicles.
Apollo Tyres reports improved sales and significantly higher net profit in the three months to 31 December 2020, the third quarter of its 2020-21 financial year. The bottom-line result for the year to date is admittedly less impressive, as net profits have been watered down by costs associated with the restructuring of the Apollo Vredestein facility in Enschede, the Netherlands.
Apollo Tyres Europe has appointed UK-based agency PFPR Communications to conduct public relations for the Vredestein brand in Europe. Working across the company’s business in the passenger car, off-highway, and truck and bus sectors, the specialist automotive agency will handle public relations strategy, media relations and asset generation alongside a host of other communication tasks.
Earlier this year Apollo Tyres announced it would transfer much of the remaining car tyre production in Enschede, the Netherlands to its factory in Hungary. To accommodate this change, the tyre maker has approved a HUF 4.4 billion (£11.2 million) investment to modernise and expand consumer tyre production at the Gyöngyöshalász site. Hungary’s government is supporting this project with a HUF 1.4 billion (£3.6 million) grant.
One way or another 2020 has been an eventful year for all of us. The same is true at Apollo Tyres where, at a global level, the company has had to navigate pandemic-related production pauses and restarts along with new factory openings and the decision to enter the two-wheel segment. At the same time as continuing to develop the Apollo brand, the company has also given the Vredestein brand a big push during the last month or so. First, with the launch of a new all-season range, then with the introduction of a new North American tyre line-up and – in order to support both – a pitch-side advertising partnership with Manchester United football club. Tyres & Accessories recently interviewed Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and MD, Apollo Tyres Ltd in order to find out more.
Apollo Tyres had to accept a drop in its turnover and earnings in the half-year to 30 September 2020, with the notable exception of sales in Europe. The company’s global sales in the first half of its current April 2020 to March 2021 financial year were Rs 70.62 billion (£728.85 million), 13.9 per cent less than the sales it gained a year earlier. Net profit dropped 71.1 per cent year-on-year to Rs 650 million (£6.71 million).
As Tyres & Accessories annual global social media ranking enters its seventh edition, this year there is a new winner. Last year’s champion, Pirelli, has fallen two places to third position. At the same time, Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ Falken brand rose an impressive eight positions to take the top spot. And Pirelli wasn’t the only well-known name to downshift, with two other brands taking retrograde steps. At the same time, in a reflection of what has taken place in the UK-only ranking, the top 10 has a new entry, with previously 10th-ranked MRF being overtaken by another large Indian tyremaker.
Continuing its long association with Manchester United, Apollo Tyres recently extended ‘Official Global Tyre Partner’ status with a parallel association with the company’s Vredestein tyre brand. The move is part of a wider growth strategy for the Vredestein brand across the Europe and North American markets.
Apollo Tyres has appointed Hizmy Hassen to the newly-created position of Chief Digital Officer (CDO). Hassen will be based at the company’s London office, and will be responsible for leading the strategy and operations of Apollo Tyres’ digital journey, including responsibility for Information Technology. Hizmy Hassen will report to Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and MD, Apollo Tyres Ltd.