ERJ staff report (DS)
New Delhi, India -- Onkar Kanwar, Chairman and Managing Director, Apollo Tyres Ltd, unveiled the company's first winter tyres at Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi. The two tyres are named Acelere Ice and Hawkz Ice and are meant for passenger vehicles and 4x4s.
Apollo said the Ice range, which are the winter counterparts of the existing summer tyres of Acelere and Hawkz, use a 100% environment-compatible silica compound, leading to lower rolling resistance and higher fuel efficiency. The new winter tyres will cater to markets in Europe and North America, where consumers by law or motoring recommendation are required to switch to tyres designed to tackle sub-zero temperatures and road conditions during the winter months.
Apollo said Europe constitutes the largest market for winter tyres in the world, primarily the Nordic countries. Winter tyres comprise around 25% of the replacement market of the annual European volume of over 250 million tyres a year. This segment is also growing at a faster rate of around 4%, compared to the overall growth rate of below 2%.
Simultaneously, Apollo also showcased two concept tyres, one designed by car designer Tom Tjaarda, the other by an in-house team.
Previously, Vredestein has developed a strong working relationship with the Giugiaro design house, with the Italian designer putting his name to Vredestein tyres
Apollo's showed the Aspire TT - a bidirectional asymmetric tread pattern, created for greater grip, manoeuvring and comfort -- designed by Tjaarda. The comapny's in-house team developed the Dolphin concept
Neeraj Kanwar, Joint Managing Director and COO, Apollo Tyres Ltd said: â€œThese two concepts are a demonstration of the company's ability to deliver on the various aspects of design and technology. I am encouraging my teams to start thinking beyond what seems possible and make the impossible a reality for our customers. Both these concepts can be brought to market in a few months time, if we decide to convert them into products.â€