GERMANY: Addressing a large gathering of media from across Europe in Cologne, Germany, Onkar S Kanwar, Chairman and Neeraj Kanwar, Managing Director of Apollo Tyres Ltd, spoke extensively on the launch of brand Apollo in Europe.
Apollo is entering Europe with an initial range of passenger car tyres with speed ratings from T to Y --4x4, Summer and Winter tyres, primarily comprising the top 50 sizes by volume. This, the company says, is a beginning and will be expanded over time. Said Onkar S Kanwar, Chairman, Apollo Tyres , “Europe is a very crucial market for us. Not just because it is one of the most demanding, but also because to make a place for ourselves in this saturated marketplace is not a small task. Our strategy for this very knowledgeable set of customers is to provide the best tyres, at the best price, backed by the best service proposition. And grow gradually over time, with increasing customer acceptance.”
Apollo Tyres will be distributed through a hand-picked set of Retailers. To begin with they will be available in 3 key countries -– Germany, UK and the home base of the Netherlands. Mentioned Neeraj Kanwar, Managing Director, Apollo Tyres Ltd , “A major distinguisher for brand Apollo is the value that we will be delivering to our customers -– high quality and technology standards at affordable prices. Given this, we will be available only with established Retailers and will not walk the Wholesale route. Our current range will cater to the small and mid-size segment and the growing 4x4 demand in Europe.”
As a new entrant, Apollo has a distinct advantage of access to the robust network of its subsidiary Apollo Vredestein (acquired in May 2009), its trained sales force and the promise of 24 hour service.
Along with the top management of Apollo Tyres Ltd, also present were the CEOs of India and South Africa, Satish Sharma and Luis Ceneviz respectively, Rob Oudshoorn, CEO, Apollo Vredestein , who spearheads the company’s functioning in Europe, including the manufacture of brand Apollo in the Enschede facility and Marc Luyten, Chief Marketing Officer , who oversees marketing activities across the 3 home markets of India, South Africa and Europe.
The Apollo passenger car brands which will be available in Europe are Amazer 3G Maxx, Acelere, Aspire and the 4x4 range of Hawkz in Summer tyres. From July onwards, the Acelere Winter and Hawkz Winter would be available as well.
Reifen 2010: Kanwar also inaugurated the Apollo pavilion in Hall 3 Stall 211, at Reifen 2010, Essen, Germany, in the presence of the company’s European sales team. This is the first time that the company is participating in Europe’s largest tyre show.
The Apollo space has been constructed keeping in mind the various brands and special attributes that the company brings to European customers. Leading the range are the passenger vehicle tyres from Apollo that are being introduced into Europe. These are the Amazer 3G Maxx, Acelere, Aspire and Hawkz, along with the Acelere Winter and Hawkz Winter. Also housed are the Vredestein and Maloya brands. A key feature of the Vredestein range is the new generation Nextreme range of Winter tyres that have just been introduced into the market.
Kanwarsaid: “In this global world, there are two things very critical to business. One is to nurture people and the other to build brands. Both need to be done seamlessly across geographies. For us in Apollo, this is the beginning of a new and exciting journey. What is most heartening is the fact that we have with us a small but synergistic range of tyres and tyre brands, enabling us to cater to varying customer needs. More importantly, we have a team of high calibre sales and marketing people, and a much valued and enthusiastic retail network. Very few new brands have this advantage that we today enjoy.”
Present alongside the Chairman was Managing Director Neeraj Kanwar, the top management team from Apollo Tyres, CEOs from each of the 3 key geographies and Ajit Kumar, Consul General at the Embassy of India in Frankfurt.
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