Although radial tyres are increasing their share of India’s light commercial vehicle sector, Apollo Tyres points out that around 165,000 cross-ply/bias light commercial tyres are sold throughout India every month. The tyre maker states it is “looking to get a share of this market” and has thus introduced a new cross-ply range, Apollo Bhim. It is offering two SKUs and says these will cater to nearly 80 per cent of the market in this segment.
Balkrishna Industries Ltd., manufacturer of the BKT tyre brand, reports that it recently commenced trial production at the greenfield project on the ‘F-20’ plot, a nine-hectare site near its current Waluj, Maharashtra plant. The facility has an installed capacity of 30,000 tonnes as well as warehousing for raw materials and finished goods. The tyre maker adds that the planned “small cogeneration plant” hasn’t been installed at this point in time.
Narain Karthikeyan, who in 2005 became India’s first-ever Formula 1 driver, has signed on as a JK Tyre brand ambassador. Commenting on the arrangement, Raghupati Singhania said the tyre maker was “delighted” to have Karthikeyan represent the JK Tyre brand in India.
With an additional investment of US$171 million, Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. intends to more than double the production capacity for off-highway tyres at its Visakhapatnam plant in India. The new plant is scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of 2023 with a planned daily production capacity of 55 tonnes; this extra investment will lift daily capacity to 123 tonnes during a second project stage, which is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2024.
Tyre maker Ralson India Ltd, manufacturer of the Ralco tyre brand and a firm that calls itself “India’s fastest growing automotive tyre company,” has entered into an agreement to acquire rights to the Dunlop name in India. The company intends to produce premium Dunlop tyres for the powered two- and three-wheeler segments at its Kot Panech plant in Punjab.
In its latest Annual Report, India’s GRP Ltd. shared that the 2020-21 financial year “proved to be a watershed year in more ways than one” for the Marangoni GRP retreading joint venture. While the world and India were under the grip of COVID-19 for the best part of the 12-month period to 31 March 2021, the company says Marangoni GRP “made rapid strides in several directions” that “set it on a path of high growth and expansion in the next year.”
Herve Frederic Richert will step down as chief executive officer of Birla Tyres Limited as of tomorrow. Richert, whose industry experience includes two decades at Michelin and a seven-year stint at Giti Tire, tendered his resignation with the Indian tyre maker on 7 July.
In June we reported that Apollo Tyres is providing original equipment tyres to the Hyundai Alcazar, a compact crossover SUV that the South Korean car maker is manufacturing in and for India. JK Tyre has also announced that it is supplying OEM tyres for the Alcazar, in this instance its UX Royale.
One of India’s largest suppliers of retreading materials has a new chief executive officer. As of June 2021, Vijay Shrinivas is chief executive of Indag Rubber Ltd. He succeeds Kewal Krishan Kapur, who’d had been with the company since 2001.
Madhavi Kanumoory has been appointed as Chief Digital & Information Officer at Birla Carbon. In this role, she will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s digital and information technology. Kanumoory will report to John Loudermilk, Chief Operating Officer, joining the company’s Senior Management Team and will be based at the Birla Carbon office in Mumbai.
The Hyundai Alcazar was launched recently on Apollo Apterra Cross tyres. Within few months of its launch, Apollo Apterra Cross has been chosen as the standard fitment tyre for the Hyundai Alcazar in 18-inch tyre size. This is also the first OE fitment approval received for Apterra Cross tyres, which was launched in March this year.
Roughly two years after he was appointed Ceat Ltd VP of marketing, Amit Tolani has been named chief executive of Ceat Specialty, effective 1 June 2021. Ceat Specialty has its EU office in Amsterdam and has been serving European farm and OTR tyre customers since 2017. Tolani joined Ceat in 2004 and has served in various roles across sales, marketing and supply chain functions. Prior to his latest appointment, he was the chief marketing officer of CEAT.
Mahansaria Tyres Private Limited (MTPL) has made an agreement in-principle with Tyres International Inc (TI) to buy a majority stake in the US-based tyre wholesaler. According to MTPL, the move is the latest part of its bid to build a global, market leading off-Highway tyre business and the first part of MTPL plans to build its distribution network in North America.