Las Vegas, Nevada —JK Tyre Industries Ltd is expecting to enter the American market on a “broad scale” by mid-2015, six years after buying Mexican tire maker Tornel S.A., which will be used as a base of operations for the company.
The Mumbai India-based company aims to roll out JK-branded car and light truck tires starting around mid-2015, after a $45-million (€36 million) expansion of Tornel’s manufacturing capacity in Mexico City is completed and production is up and running, said Arun Bajoria, president and director of JK Tyre.
Bajoria and other JK Tyre executives discussed their plans at the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The expansion will add 5 million units of annual radial car tire capacity at JK-Tornel’s plant in Mexico City, Bajoria said, which represents a 50-percent jump in passenger tire capacity.
The company already has a toehold in the US, in New York City, via an original equipment supply agreement with Nissan Mexicana SA de C.V., which is building the Nissan NV200 van that is being used as a taxi in New York.
The auto maker assembles the NV200 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. JK supplies a version of its Vectra premium tire in size 185/65R15.
JK Tornel also supplies JK- and Tornel-brand tires OE to Chrysler Group LLC in Mexico and Fiat SpA in Brazil, according to Vijay Misra, JK’s technical director, and has an OE homologation under way with Volkswagen Mexico.