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.
Dutch tyre brand Vredestein, part of the Apollo Tyres family since 2009, is a name well-known amongst European motorists. This isn’t the case in the USA and Canada, where Vredestein’s only enjoyed a niche following in past years. Apollo Tyres now intends to change this – in September it launched a “comprehensive brand offensive” there backed by a full range of new tyre lines explicitly designed for and developed in North America.
Apollo Tyres is aiming for leadership in the premium two-wheeler segment in India with the inauguration of a dedicated two-wheel cross-ply and tyre manufacturing operation. India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and still has a headroom for further growth. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand has increased as people move away from shared/public transport and gradually moving to own a personal vehicle. However, while India is at the forefront for Apollo’s venture into the two-wheel segment, the company is also hinting that it plans to export two-wheel tyres to Europe and North America.
Apollo Tyres has commissioned its seventh tyre factory globally and its fifth in India, with the first tyre rolling off the production line from the Andhra Pradesh greenfield facility in the southern part of the country on 25 June. Chairman, Onkar S Kanwar, vice chairman and MD, Neeraj Kanwar, supervisory board members along with the entire senior management team participated virtually in this momentous occasion.