ERJ staff report (SS)
Gurgaon, India --Â Apollo Tyre plans to acquire 50 hectares of land in Hungary, and invest Euro 200 million, in order to build a passenger car radial tyre plant with an annual capacity of 7 million tyres in the first phase, which is expected to be completed in 18 months.
The announcement follows a meeting between Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres Ltd, Onkar S Kanwar, at the Hungarian Partnership Summit 2008 to discuss the possibilities of setting up a manufacturing facility in Hungary.
For the past nine months Apollo has been evaluating various options for a European manufacturing hub to service the European and North American markets, and Hungary was one of the front runners from the beginning of the evaluation process, said Apollo, in a 16 Jan statement.
One of the sites that has been considered as a possibility for the project is in Gyongyos just outside Budapest city in Hungary. Apollo said that there could be a ground breaking ceremony at the site early this coming financial year.Â Apollo said it plans to acquire 50 hectares of land in Gyongyos
â€œWe are very keen to have Apollo set up its first green field manufacturing unit, outside India, in Hungary,â€ Gyursacy, in a speech to the media.
Apollo will bring to Hungary its world class manufacturing expertise, technology and people management skills,â€ he added.
â€œSo far, this is the largest investment made by any Indian company in Hungary,â€ said Kanwar.
â€œThis manufacturing facility in Gyongyos, Hungary, will become our hub to service our passenger car radial customers in Europe and North America. This is a key investment in our global strategy.â€ He added.
This projected investment in Europe compliments Apollo Tyres' planned investment in India. On 15 Jan the board of directors at Apollo approved Rs 2200 million (Euro 37.9 million) for the construction of a world class green field radial facility in Tamil Nadu, India, which is expected to be completed within the next 18 months.
Currently, Michelin operates two tyre factories in Hungary, acquired from the former Taurus group. Hankook opened a plant there last summer. Bridgestone is building a state-of-the-art tyre factory in Hungary which is due on stream in the near future. The APollo unit would be Hungary's fifth tyre factory.Â