The Rs 50,000 crore Indian tyre industry today has a
few reasons to smile and a few reasons to frown. On the one hand, after a lull
in the industry while the demand for tyres in 2015-16 is seeing a growth
coupled with lower raw material costs, on the other hand, Chinese imports into
India and a skewed government policy have become veritable thorns in the flesh
of the Indian tyre industry.
According to a research paper by ICRA, a credit
rating agency, the demand for tyres is expected
to pick up during 2015-16 with growth in domestic
tyre volumes of around 9-10pc during 2015-16. This will happen because there
will be a pickup in demand for automobiles and an improving economy. ICRA
further maintained that the benefits of lower raw material costs will continue
for the tyre manufacturers in India, particularly during H1, 2015-16 and there
will also be an increase in exports.
“With fall in global demand, prices of
several key inputs are currently at all time lows. Over the next two-three
quarters we expect input prices to gradually increase, capping further margin
expansion in 2015-16,” the ICRA study noted.
While tyre manufacturers in India will
be producing more in 2015-16, one can also expect imports of tyres to also
increase. Tyre imports have witnessed a sharp 22pc YoY (annualised) growth in
the first nine months of 2014-15 led by passenger vehicle and two wheeler
segments. Subdued domestic market in China and anti dumping duties on passenger
and light vehicle on Chinese tyres imports into the US market have led to China
diverting these surplus capacities to countries like India, pointed out the
“We are seeing this huge influx of cheap imported
tyres coming into India especially dumped from China. It is rather unfortunate
if I may say, this has not received the attention of the government in a manner
that it deserves and for the last many years both as an industry body as well
as a tyre company we have been approaching the government but a solution still
eludes us,” says Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, Automotive Tyre
Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA) in an interview with Motown India.
Budhraja points out that the Indian government has
not given the tyre industry the encouragement and support it so rightly
deserves. “One key issue that confronts the tyre industry is a very long
outstanding one of correcting the inverted duty structure. We are in a
situation where the customs duty on our principal raw material i.e. natural
rubber is now 25pc. Until the budget it was 20 pc. Post Budget it was hiked to
25pc, perhaps the highest in the world. The customs duty on finished tyres is
anywhere between zero per cent to 8.6 pc under various preferential and
concessional tariffs by virtue of trade agreements. It is a very anomalous
situation that we have in the tyre industry where the principal raw material
duty is almost three times that of the finished product,” he says.
ATMA which is an association for automotive tyre
manufacturers operating in the country has as its members Apollo Tyres, Birla
Tyres, Bridgestone, CEAT, Continental, Goodyear India, Michelin India, JK Tyre
& Industries, MRF and TVS Srichakra. Yokohama will be the latest entrant to
join this prestigious association. Another Indian tyre major Balkrishna Industries (BKT) which is primarily
into off highway tyres may also join the association soon.
“We have been there since
1975. It’s almost forty years now. It’s
an industry association of large tyre companies in India. To become a member of
ATMA, one has to have a manufacturing facility in India. One also has to have a
certain size and scale in turnover. The turnover of the company has to be Rs 500
crore or above. The company should be manufacturing either 100,000 tyres
annually for the truck and bus category or 2 million passenger car tyres
annually. That sets the membership criteria for the company,” informs Budhraja.
Apart from the biggies that are part of ATMA, there
are several brands that are imported into India. Among the big brands is
Pirelli. Others include Metzeler from Germany, Shinko from Japan and a whole host of brands
from China. Tyre makers who are not part of ATMA include the likes of Metro Tyres,
Falcon Tyres, Dunlop Tyres (the plant has been shut for a while) and Govind
APOLLO TYRES LTD.
This Rs 12,726 crore company is a force to reckon with in the Indian tyre industry. Controlled by Onkar S Kanwar who is the Chairman & Managing Director of the company, Apollo Tyres derives 71pc of its revenue from the Replacement market, 22.8pc from OEM and 6.2pc from exports. Product wise, 47.4pc comes from Truck and Bus tyres, 34.6pc from passenger vehicles, 9.5pc from Off Highway, 6.8pc from light trucks and 1.7pc from others.
Last fiscal, the company announced an investment of Euro 475 million in a Greenfield facility in Hungary. Construction of Apollo Tyres’ first European Greenfield plant in Gyöngyöshalász, Hungary, has already started. The facility will produce both, Apollo and Vredestein branded tyres and will cater to the entire European market. The Gyöngyöshalász facility will be a state-of-the-art plant, and once completed, will have a capacity to produce 5.5 million passenger car & light truck (PCLT) tyres and 675,000 heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) tyres per annum. This facility will complement Apollo Tyres’ existing facility in the Netherlands, bringing the whole range of Apollo and Vredestein branded tyres to the European market.
The company has manufacturing operation in Enschede in the Netherlands, while the remaining ones are in India—Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Limda (Gujarat), Perambra and Kalamassery (Kerala) in India.
The Kalamassery unit in Kerala runs under the banner of PTL Enterprises Ltd., (formerly known as Premier Tyres Ltd.) which was incorporated as a company in 1959. The tyres manufacturing facility of PTL at Kalamassery was acquired by Apollo Tyres Ltd in 1995. This facility began commercial production in September 1962 and currently the plant is leased out to Apollo Tyres on long term basis. All production is done by Apollo Tyres.
PTL Enterprises is also the holding company of Artemis Health Sciences Ltd. In 2007, a state-of-the art tertiary care hospital called Artemis Health Institute (AHI) was established in Gurgaon and in a few other locations.
Apollo Tyres sells its products in over 100 countries worldwide including countries like Germany, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Greece. Its range of tyres include those for passenger cars, light trucks, trucks, buses, off highway, agriculture tyres and retreaded tyres.
The company acquired the premium passenger car tyre manufacturer Vredestein in the Netherlands in 2009. Its bid to acquire Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of the US failed.
The company has a global R&D centre of excellence for passenger cars in Enschede, The Netherlands, while it also strengthened its global R&D centre for commercial vehicles in Chennai.
Its R&D team designed and created a variable front spoiler made with specially developed ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber for Porsche (Porsche 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S), aptly named Air Master by Vredestein.
A year or so back Sumitomo Rubber Industries took over ATL's subsidiary Apollo Tyres South Africa, including the Ladysmith passenger car tyre plant, the Dunlop brand rights that Apollo had in 32 countries of Africa and sales and distribution network in South Africa. ATL retained its Durban plant which manufactures truck and bus radial (TBR) tyres and off highway tyres (OHT) used in mining and construction industries.
To tap the high potential ASEAN market, ATL opened its sales office in Bangkok (Thailand), Dubai for the Middle East region and Netherlands and South Africa. The company is also pushing its products in the Western Asian markets and sees a major demand for its tyres in Iran. Apollo Tyres has an association with Manchester United, a tie up which it is leveraging to make its Apollo brand globally recognised.
Birla Tyres was first established in 1991, as part of Kesoram Industries Limited, flagship of the BK Birla Group headquartered in Kolkata. It then collaborated with global tyre manufacturer Pirelli, in the production and development of its tyres. The company’s factory is situated at Laksar, Uttrakhand and it has a production capacity of over 44 lakh truck tyres per year.
The company manufactures tyres for automobiles, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, farm vehicles and heavy earth-moving machinery. The company has over 170 sales depots. Reports of the company being bought out by MRF and very recently by JK Tyre have been doing the rounds in the media.
Both MRF and JK Tyre have, however, denied any move to buy the unit. Kesoram lndustries had last year appointed a three-member committee of directors to restructure the group's operations in cement, tyres, rayon, transparent paper and filament yarn.
‘Make in India’ for the global marketplace cannot be
better demonstrated than Balkrishna Industries (BKT), a company with over 25
years of global presence in the ‘Off-Highway Tyres’ segment. In the early 1990s
when every other tyre company in India was busy producing tyres primarily for
mass use, the leaders at BKT foresaw a unique opportunity in international
business and started production in the 'Off the Highway' segment.
Today, BKT enjoys principal presence in five
continents around the world covering more than 130 countries. It is the
preferred supplier to International OEM’s in industrial, construction and
agricultural tyre segments. Since its inception in 1988, BKT has grown into a
diversified industrial major exporting its expansive range of ‘Off-Highway
Solutions’ to the world.
Quality conscious users which adhere to stringent
conformity standards in countries like Europe and America prefer BKT as their
supplier. The international quality of BKT tyres is achieved by using the
foremost quality of raw materials that are processed through the most advanced
and developed technology.
“Each product passes over 450 stages of tests. The
result of this rigorous practice being that BKT Products are known for their
reliability and have the lowest claim ratio in the industry,” informs Rajiv
Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT.
Currently BKT has four functioning state of the art
manufacturing plants spread across India, the recent one being set up in Bhuj,
Gujarat. The company provides over 2300 different SKUs (Stock Keeping Units)
for various kinds of applications.
The company has products from 5” rim diameter to 54”
rim diameter for vehicles ranging from Trailers, Forklifts, Agriculture
Machinery, Forestry etc. to technologically advanced machines like High
Horsepower Tractors, Combines, Harvesters, GPS controlled vehicles, Articulated
Dump Trucks, High-Speed cranes, Sophisticated Port Vehicles & Container Handlers
BKT is also the first tyre company in India to
produce the All Steel Radial OTR tyres which are produced at their Chopanki
Plant in State of Rajasthan & Bhuj Plant in State of Gujarat. OTR vehicles
ranging from Rigid Dump Trucks to Snow manoeuvring vehicles use these tyres.
The company has its own R&D centre which develops these tyres that can
encounter the toughest and the most hostile terrains faced during mining and
The tyres under this segment range from a 20”
diameter Tipper Truck size to a giant 51” Rigid Dump Truck Size in Bias make
and 49” in Radial make, thus covering every requirement for Industrial use and
BKT has been selling tyres to world's leading OEMs.
The company recently launched an ultra advanced range of tyres especially for
High Speed Cranes. The tyre 445/95 R25 enables heavy high speed cranes to
journey at speeds of 80 km/hr.
For the agricultural sector, the company makes a
range of tractor tyres that are specially designed to carry higher loads on and
off roads with minimal soil compaction in field. These are available both in
Bias & Radial Make.
“We invest heavily every year into R&D, to
upgrade our plant facilities and develop new products”, informs Arvind Poddar,
Chairman and Managing Director, BKT. “Our competition is with global tyre
giants, so we always have to have an edge over technology if we have to compete
with them. If you look at all steel OTR radial tyres for mining, we are the pioneers
from India”, he further states.
BRIDGESTONE INDIA PVT. LTD
BridgeStone is a Japanese tyre manufacturing company
and it is the world’s largest tyre manufacturing company. Bridgestone India
Pvt. Ltd started its operations in 1996. In March 1998 with the setup of its
manufacturing facility in Kheda, Madhya Pradesh it started producing
Bridgestone tyres for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the country. It
expanded its facilities by setting up one more facility in Chakan, Pune
recently. It has now become one of the leading tyre companies in both the OEM
& Replacement market.
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is
the world’s largest tyre and rubber company. In addition to tyres for use in a
wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified
products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting
goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the
On the one hand while Bridgestone India is
increasing its retail presence in the country, it is also, on the other hand,
coming up with concept stores that would focus on safety and eco-friendliness,
These stores will showcase Bridgestone’s complete product range as well as provide
services like tyre balancing, tyre alignment, battery check up, etc.
With net sales Rs 5754.77
crore, Ceat Tyres, controlled by Harsh Vardhan Goenka (He is Chairman,
Non-Executive Director, Ceat Limited) is the flagship Company of the Rs 20,000
crore RPG Group and is a leading manufacturer of automobile tyres in the
country. The company has embarked on an
expansion of its capacities which is expected to be completed during this
current fiscal. “Our emphasis has been on building tyres which are not just
world-class but also the safest on the road and the most
environment-friendly. We are also
working on leveraging the benefits of digital technology particularly in
manufacturing supply chain and other key business processes. The volatility in
commodity prices especially rubber remains a challenge,” said Harsh Vardhan
Goenka in his Annual Report of the company.
The company has a combined
manufacturing capacity of 800 MT/day at its plants in Halol, Nashik, Bhandup
and other outsourced capacities. Ceat is one of India’s leading tyre exporters,
exporting its tyres to more than 100 countries. It has also established liaison
offices in Indonesia and the
Middle East. Last fiscal a CEAT
Shoppe was set up in UAE to cater to the Company’s expanding market in
the Gulf region.
The company is a major
exporter of tyres for trucks, off-the-road (OTR) vehicles and Light Commercial
Vehicle categories. Specially designed tyres for export markets include tyres
with good mileage, ride comfort and low noise for the Dubai taxi market, as well
as the low noise tyres that surpass the stringent requirements under European regulations.
Back home, the company is a major supplier to OEMs in the passenger vehicles,
two-wheeler and commercial vehicles segments. The company, according to its
Annual Report, got approval from many leading OEMs in passenger and commercial
category including Maruti
(Swift), Honda (Activa 3G), Daimler Benz
(Bharat Benz), Hero Motocorp (I-smart)
and Bajaj (Discover 150). The company sees
in its OEM relationships a gateway to replacement
Continental India Limited was
founded on July 15, 2011 when Modi Tyres Company Private Limited was acquired
by Continental AG. Continental AG is a leading automotive company, headquartered
in Hannover, Germany. The Modipuram plant in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh
in India manufactures tyres for buses and trucks while tubes are manufactured
at Partapur plant which is located at a distance of about 20 kms from Modipuram
Employing 1500 people, Continental
India Limited manufactures bias and radial tyres for buses/trucks and radial
tyres for passenger cars.
Modi Rubber Limited was
incorporated in 1971 and started commercial production in 1974. It was the
first Indian tyre company in technical collaboration with Continental AG. In
2001 the company was closed and in 2009 Modi Tyres Company Private Limited
restarted production in June. Continental AG acquired Modi Tyres Company
Private Limited in 2011 and in July of the year, Continental India Limited was
It built the first radial PLT
green tyre at Modipuram on December 14, 2015 and cured on December 31. Again in
2013 the first TBR green tyre was built on February 1 at Modipuram and cured on
In 2014 Continental started
production and commercial distribution of radial tyres for commercial vehicles
(TBR) as well as premium passenger car tyres (PLT) in India. Continental has
established a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for TBR & PLT
tyres at its existing tyre plant at Modipuram with an initial capacity of
800,000 tyres p.a. for PLT and 220,000 tyres p.a. for TBR with further
expansion potential, according to a company note.
The journey of an extremely
old tyre company in India has not been good at all. Pneumatic Tyre was
discovered in the year 1888 by a Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921). The
beginning of Dunlop legacy occurred in 1888. The first company founded by John Boyd
Dunlop was Dunlop Tyres. In 1896 Dunlop started marketing cycle tyres in India.
Several decades later in 1926 Dunlop incorporated its business in India as
Dunlop Rubber Company (India) Limited with an authorised capital of Rs. 50
lakh. In 1928 Dunlop Rubber Co (I) Ltd was renamed Dunlop India Ltd (DIL). In
2005 the Ruia Group led by Pawan Kumar Ruia took control of DIL. At this point
DIL had liabilities in excess of Rs 650 crore. In 2006 the DIL plant at Ambattur resumed production,
while Sahaganj opened its gates a little later. Subsequently, the company
Early this year, BJP Rajya
Sabha MP Chandan Mitra at a press conference in Kolkata said that Dunlop India is
not a fit case for takeover anymore. He had made a visit to the Dunlop India
factory at Sahaganj in Hooghly district. All efforts to revive Dunlop have
failed till now.
FALCON TYRES LTD
A company with a measly turnover of Rs 64.43 crore
for the nine months ended December 31, 2014, Falcon Tyres has fallen into bad
days. It was incorporated in 1973 and made tyres for two-wheelers and cars. In
February 2015, Falcon Tyres Ltd informed the Bombay Stock exchange of
the resignation of Pawan Kumar Ruia (of Dunlop) as Chairman and Whole-time
Director of the company. The Ruia group had got a controlling stake in Falcon
Tyres in December 2005 through an offshore deal.
Products of Falcon Tyres were
marketed under the Dunlop brand in the Indian market. The company has a plant
at Mysore. The company had entered into a Technical Aid Agreement with Sumitomo
Rubber Industries Ltd. of Japan which provided the company access to the latest
International technology, new product range, upgraded product quality and the
best processes. Ensuring established global standards in quality, the
production capacity of the Mysore plant was gradually augmented from 350,000
tyres a month to more than 1,000,000 tyres a month.. A 6 MW co-generation power
plant was also been commissioned.
A newspaper reported very
recently that ICICI Bank had put Tulip Telecom & Falcon Tyres loans on the
block, to which the company on July 30, 2015 replied to stock exchange, “We are
not aware of any such development that ICICI Bank is putting Falcon loans on
the block till it came out in the news paper....We re-iterate that there was no
such discussion between ICICI bank and Falcon Management of such movement.”. It
further stated that the “news published in said news paper does not have impact
on operation/performance of the company too."
As on the end of September
2014, the Ruia group had a 31.62 per cent stake in Falcon, which has
considerable presence in the two-wheeler tyre segment. The Ruia group now holds
just 2.12 per cent in Falcon. It is believed that the ICICI Bank is now the de
facto owner, according to unconfirmed sources.
Goodyear’s (an American company) presence in India
is more than 92 years old, with two tyre plants/companies, one each in
Ballabgarh and Aurangabad. In the passenger car segment, Goodyear in India
supplies tyres to many of the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers.
Goodyear in India has been a pioneer in introducing tubeless radial tyres in
this segment. In the farm segment, in India, Goodyear tyres are supplied to all
the major tractor companies.
A couple of months back the company had launched Assurance
TripleMax, the first tyre to boast of Goodyear’s latest Hydrogrip technology
which reduces braking distances by more than two metres on wet roads.
“Setting a new standard in tyre innovation, the
Assurance TripleMax uses Hydrogrip technology, a Goodyear proprietary
technology that allows drivers to reduce braking distances by more than 2
meters on wet roads compared to other tyres in the market today¹,” said P.K.
Walia, VP Consumer Business, Goodyear India.
Govind Rubber Limited (GRL) is a global name for a
range of world-class bicycle tyres and two wheelers tyres. This Rs 339 crore
company was founded by late M. P. Poddar in 1964. GRL is part of the Poddar
group. The V.M Poddar Group has the following business segments its fold: Govind
Rubber Limited, GRL Tires Private Limited and GRL BV, The Netherlands. In order
to expand the business of tyres and tubes across the European territory VM
Poddar Group set up a wholly owned subsidiary to Govind Rubber Limited in
Netherlands. GRL International Limited is the marketing arm of Govind Rubber
Limited with branch network
of 45 numbers
and 6,000 dealer
base. This company has a sales force of 250 persons spread across India.
A few years back, Govind Rubber had showcased at
Eurobike, their newest range of foldable tyres.
JK TYRE & INDUSTRIES
This Raghupati Singhania controlled company is part
of the JK Organisation. The Rs 7328 crore company (Includes revenues of its
wholly owned subsidiary JK Tornel, Mexico) was recently in the news that it was
buying Birla Tyres, a part of Kesoram Industries. JK Tyre has, however, denied
this news. JK Tyre is a leading four-wheeler tyre
manufacturer in India and amongst the top 25 manufacturers in the world with a
wide range of products catering to diverse business segments in the four
wheeler automobile industry. The company has a global presence in 100 countries
and has six plants in India and three in Mexico. Currently, the capacity
across 9 plants exceeds 20 million tyres per annum.
JK Tyre pioneered radial technology in India in 1977
and is currently the leader in Truck Bus Radial segment. The company offers
four wheeler tyres for the entire range - Truck/Bus, LCV, Passenger Cars, MUV
and Tractors. The company is the manufacturer of India’s largest OTR Tyre
weighing 3.7 tons and 12 feet high. JK Tyre is a preferred supplier to the
automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers and is a partner to some of the
biggest names including Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Honda, Ashok Leyland,
Mahindra & Mahindra, Volvo Eicher, General Motors, Volkswagen, Fiat,
Nissan, TAFE, BEML and Caterpillar India.
Its nationwide network comprises of 143 selling
locations, 4,000 dealers and over 120 retail outlets branded 'JK Tyre Steel
Wheels', which are equipped with state-of-the-art wheel servicing equipment. It
has also established 17 Truck Radial Tyre Care centres, which operate along all
major National Highways on 365 day, 24x7 basis. JK Tyre has established over 14
truck radial total solution showrooms branded “Truck Wheels”. It was the
first to introduce unique concepts like “Dial-a-Tyre” and is the only tyre
company to launch a 24x7 on-road tyre assistance initiative called
When it comes to motorsports, JK Tyre is a name to
reckon with. The Racing and Karting programmes supported and conducted by the
company are the breeding ground for the country's young motorsport talent and
JK Tyre prodigies like Karun Chandhok, Armaan Ebrahim and Aditya Patel have
done India proud in the global arena.
Early this year, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd added
another feather to its cap for its Passenger Radial Tyres, when it was ranked highest
in the JD Power 2015 India Original Equipment Tyre Customer Satisfaction Index.
JK Tyre received the highest rank for its superior quality and many years of
relationship with the Indian consumers, in the TCSI Study conducted annually by
The company recently launched
its exclusive range of highly advanced multi-terrain tyres- Ranger in Panaji,
Goa. With the Ranger series, JK Tyre aims to augment its presence in one of the
fastest growing segments in the Indian auto industry i.e. the Sports Utility
Vehicle segment. JK Tyre will export the new range of tyres to its
The tyres come in 10 sizes and
therefore work best with a variety of SUVs available in the Indian market,
viz., Audi Q-series, Land Rover Freelander, Fortuner, Nissan X-trail, Terrano,
Pajero, EcoSport, Duster, and many more.
Vivek Kamra, President – India
Operations, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd said, “Technology & R&D have
been the driving forces at JK Tyre. Aspiring to augment our presence in each
and every product segment, Ranger Series is yet another marvel from our state
of the art R&D facilities.” He also added, “Being a customer centric
company, this product reiterates our commitment to identify new and emerging
customer needs and proactively introduce technologically advanced products to
keep pace with changing market scenario.”
Ranger Series has been
rigorously tested globally by the company’s professional race drivers on
various terrains and has been assessed as best in class in handling, grip and
braking. JK Ranger AT Series stops within 4 seconds; be it dry road or wet road
(Dry road 100 to 0 kmph in less than 4 seconds and for wet roads 80 to 0 kmph
in less than 4 seconds).
Metro tyres, since its
inception in 1968, have been a major player in bicycle tyres and tubes in
India. Apart from bicycle tyres, the company makes motorcycle tyres,
three-wheeler tyres and auto tubes. The company has a technical collaboration
with Germany’s Continental AG. Metro International is the export division that
works with the company’s overseas clients. Under the aegis of Metro Ortem
Limited, the group has diversified to manufacture and export a whole range of
home appliances including fans and sewing machines.
The Group has seven certified,
state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, producing tyres and tubes for
bicycles, motorcycles, scooters and three wheelers. Metro Tyres has a
manufacturing capacity close to 30 million tyres and 30 million tubes annually.
Apart from a technical
collaboration with Continental AG for motorcycle and scooter tyres under Continental
Metro brand name in India, it also has an outsourcing agreement with Continental
AG for motorcycle tyres and tubes and automobile tubes under Continental brand
name for their global requirements.
Michelin is a French company that is second largest
tyre manufacturing company in the world after Bridgestone. Michelin came
to India almost a decade ago. Michelin’s range of products in India caters to
the Passenger Cars, Truck & Bus and Two Wheeler & OTR (Off the Road)
touch-points spans across India and comprises of TyrePlus, Michelin Priority
Partners, Michelin Truck Service Center and Recamic.
In 2009, Michelin Group and
Tamil Nadu government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Michelin’s
tyre manufacturing plant. This 290 acres facility is currently focussed on
manufacturing a range of Radial Truck/Bus tyres.
In Q1, 2014, the manufacturing
plant near Chennai started commercial production of Michelin radial truck
tyres. In July 2015, the company
announced that it has been awarded the ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949:2009 Quality
Management System Certification for its Chennai manufacturing facility UTAC
(Technical Union for the Automobile, Motorcycle and Cycle Industries).
According to news reports,
Michelin will be significantly raising production in 2015 to 16,000 tonne from
11,000 tonne, riding on a growing demand for radial tyres. The company is
planning to set up an R&D facility in India.
Madras Rubber Factory, now MRF, is India’s largest
tyre company. Not many may be aware, but this Tamil Nadu based company started
as a balloon company in 1940’s with a funding of Rs 14,000. It has come a long
way since then and boasts of a turnover of more than Rs 14,000 crore and around
nine plants across the country. It was founded in 1946 by K M Mammen Mappillai.
Today, apart from making tyres, the company is actively involved in the field
of motorsport, in cricket, in boxing, in toys and paints, among others. It has
It was only in 1952 when the company changed course
and turned to tread rubber manufacturing. By the early 60’s, MRF was
exporting its quality tyres to offices overseas in the U.S. and Beirut and soon
made its presence known globally across 65 different countries - with tyres
rolling out of 6 interdependent facilities built across 450 acres, 3000 strong
dealer networks and 180 different offices.
In the field of sports, MRF
had set up the MRF Pace Foundation under the legendary Australian bowler Dennis
Lillee. As for motorsports, the company is involved in racing, go karting,
rallying and various other motorsport events. Its rallying team has won the
prestigious FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship a few times.
It was in 1961 that MRF became
a public company and established a technical collaboration with the Mansfield
Tire & Rubber Company based in USA and the then Chief Minister of Tamil
Nadu K. Kamaraj released the first tyre from MRF’s new pilot plant at
In 1967 MRF became the first
Indian company to export tyres to the very birthplace of tyre technology, the
United States. The company’s second plant opened at Kottayam in Kerala in 1970
and a year later its third plant was inaugurated in Goa. The fourth plant came
up in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu. In the years that followed, the company
introduced a series of tyres for cars, trucks and two-wheelers.
In 1989 it collaborated with
Hasbro International USA, the world's largest toy makers, and launched Funskool
India. The Company also entered into collaborations with Vapocure Australia to
manufacture polyurethane paint formulations and with Pirelli for MUSCLEFLEX
Conveyor & Elevator Belting. The same year, the company also opened another
unit in Medak (now a district in Telangana). The year 1996 was MRF’s golden
jubilee and it started a special factory dedicated entirely to the manufacture
of radials at Pondicherry. In the year 1997 MRF ventured into F3 cars for the
very first time. In 2011 MRF
commissioned its seventh plant at Ankanpally (Andhra Pradesh). The eighth plant
followed for the production of conventional tyres in Trichy (TN). In 2012
MRF commissioned its 9th plant
in Trichy (TN) solely for the manufacture of Radial Tyres.
TVS Srichakra Limited, a part
of the TVS Group, the largest auto ancillary group in India, with a group
turnover of over USD 8 Billion, is the leading manufacturer of
Two & Three Wheeler tyres and Off-Road tyres. Incorporated in
1982, the company manufactures and markets its products under the ‘TVS Tyres’
and ‘TVS Eurogrip’ brands. The company rolls out around 1.9 million tyres every
month out of its two units located in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) and Pantnagar
In June 2015, the company
informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that in order to meet the growing demand for
two wheelers tyres in India, Michelin has entered into an agreement with it for
setting up a new manufacturing facility within its existing plant in Madurai.
The products designed by Michelin for the Indian market will be manufactured by
TVS Srichakra at this new facility under the Michelin brand name. The TVS
Madurai unit with an annual capacity of 3.6 million tyres will produce bias
product ranges for both Michelin as well as some tyres from TVS’s product range
of two wheeler tyres.
Early this year, the company
unveiled its new brand identity with the mnemonic ‘Eagle’. In 2013-14, the
company made 1.7 million tyres per month in Two & Three Wheeler segment and
pushed it up to 2 million tyres per month in 2014-15. “We have initiated an expansion in our
capacity, to reach 2.3 million tyres per month by December 2015,” said P
Vijayaraghavan, Director, TVS Srichakra Ltd.
Yokohama India is a 100pc
subsidiary of The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd, Japan. The Yokohama Rubber Company (YRC)
is already running into 10th decade of its establishment in Japan. The Japanese
company decided to foray into the Indian market in 2007. In November 2014,
Yokohama India started the first phase of commercial production at its first
tyre manufacturing unit in India at HSIIDC Bahadurgarh Haryana. With a max
production capacity of 2000 tyres per day the plant can be scaled up to three
to four folds in the next phases of growth. Built with an investment of over
Rs.300 crore, this new manufacturing unit introduced the Yokohama Earth -1
Tyres, specially designed for the Indian road conditions for durability,
mileage & noise comfort. At the
event, Hikomitsu Noji, President and Representative Director, President of Tire
Business – Yokohama Rubber Company, Japan, said “Yokohama India has started its
operation in 2007, and since then we were thinking the necessity of
manufacturing facility in India considering import duty, inter-state tax
matters and some other issues. Based on such market conditions, we have decided
to have our own factory here in Haryana in 2012”.
Yokohama India is currently
operating on 2pc of the total market share. While tube type tyres still
contribute a considerable share of the total passenger car radial market, Yokohama
India is only competing in the tubeless market.
Takeshi Fujino, Managing
Director – Yokohama India also noted that “Keeping the diverse road conditions
in mind Yokohama Earth-1 will cater to
most of the cars in B, B+ and C-segment”.
“We plan to introduce 25 sizes
of Yokohama Earth-1 and 10 S-Drive sizes” he further added.
Yokohama India currently has
approx 600 point of sales which also includes 23 Yokohama Club Network (YCN)
across length and breadth of India. Globally
other than replacement tyres business, Yokohama tyres is original equipment
suppliers to many top of the line car manufacturers like Audi, Honda, Mercedes
Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Suzuki and Toyota.
Yokohama India later
introduced “Mud –Terrain (M/T+)” Tyres in it’s well accepted “Geolandar”
series. Specifically designed for serious Off-Roading, the Geolandar M/T+ is
well-equipped to deflect lateral impacts during extreme conditions.
Yokohama in India has been
part of major motorsports activities since 2007. While it has won the Himalayan
car Rallies for three consecutive years--2009, 2010 & 2011, Yokohama India
has had podium finishes at all rallies the company has participated in. Over
the years Yokohama has become synonymous to global Motorsports. Currently
Yokohama has been the sole official tyre supplier to FIA World Touring Car
Championship (WTCC) since 2006. Yokohama
also has been the sole tyre supplier for 31 consecutive years to the Mecca of
Formula 3, which is held in Macau every year.
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