A promotion for Benoit Rivallant. After serving as group head of global product management for commercial vehicles and OTR tyres at Apollo Tyres since August 2014, Rivallant has been tapped to succeed Mathias Heimann as president of Apollo Tyres’ European Operations.
We heard in June that Goodyear was supplying original equipment tyres to the new Volkswagen Touareg, and Apollo Vredestein now shares that it will supply two 18-inch fitments to the latest version of VW’s flagship SUV. Buyers selecting an all-season fitment as standard can select the Vredestein Quatrac 5 in size 255/60 R18 108V, while those preferring summer rubber can plump for the Vredestein Ultrac Satin in size 255/60 R18 108W.
Following the start of production at its Gyöngyöshalász plant in Hungary last quarter, Apollo Tyres is on its way to almost doubling European passenger car tyre production capacity over the coming year and a half. Speaking with analysts and investors last week after the release of Apollo’s FY2018 financial results, chief financial officer Gaurav Kumar confirmed that the facility in Hungary is expected to reach a daily capacity of 16,000 car tyres by the second half of FY2019 – in other words, sometime between September next year and the end of March 2019. This will give Apollo Tyres a total daily capacity of up to 35,000 passenger car tyres at its two European plants – and more than a third of output in Gyöngyöshalász may be earmarked for OEM customers.
The opening of Apollo Tyres’ Gyöngyöshalász plant, 100km east of Budapest, marks a significant event for both the company’s global aspirations and the Indian tyre industry – the 72 hectare greenfield factory, begun in April 2015, is the first inaugurated by an Indian tyre company to come online outside the domestic market. The importance was reflected in the event itself, with some of the plant’s cavernous warehousing housing around 1,300 guests, among whose number was the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, who declared Apollo’s sixth global tyre manufacturing plant – its second in Europe after the existing Netherlands facility acquired alongside Vredestein – open on 7 April.
At present there are 220 Apollo Vredestein tyre specialists in the UK, and Apollo Vredestein says this number will increase by almost 30 per cent by next year, with 280 centres expected to be operating. This growth in the UK network is occurring as part a wider push to expand the network in Europe.
According to LMC figures, Europe’s light commercial vehicle market is growing 35 per cent faster than the passenger car market, and these vehicles now account for 11 per cent of the region’s vehicle parc. This growth is to a large extent being driven by a strong rise in parcel deliveries, and Apollo Tyres believes that the 21 million light commercial vehicle tyres currently sold in Europe annually will increase to 25 million tyres per year by the end of 2020.
The management team of Apollo Vredestein has relocated from the city of Enschede in the Netherlands to Amsterdam. The tyre maker shares that its European region management and senior management, along with Europe-based staff responsible for global manufacturing and quality functions, began the shift to Amsterdam last September. The relocation is now complete, with some 50 people currently housed in the new premises, including Apollo Vredestein CEO and Apollo Tyres’ president for Europe and America, Mathias Heimann.
Apollo Tyres’ takeover of reifencom GmbH, operator of e-commerce sites in six European countries, has been described as part of the company’s strategy to expand its retail network in the European market. Apollo said its takeover will allow it to support the expansion activities of its subsidiary Apollo Vredestein, which include major investments in the European premium brand Vredestein. The company stated that it has major plans for growth via an expansion of its original equipment activities – the groundwork for which is being laid via the current construction of a new plant in Hungary.
Apollo Vredestein has launched a Dealer Partnership programme across Europe, with the intention of increasing the visibility of its brand. Four new shops were opened simultaneously in Belgium, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands, while others are planned for Austria, Germany, Spain and Switzerland in the coming months. Apollo said its eventual goal is to have 800 programme partners by 2020, throughout Europe.
Apollo Tyres Ltd. has appointed a new president for Europe and the Americas and CEO of Apollo Vredestein B.V. The role has been taken on by Mathias Heimann, who is based in the company’s European headquarters in Enschede, the Netherlands. Heimann began in his new position in early October and succeeds Luis Ceneviz, who has left the company and, according to informed sources, returned to his home country, Brazil.