Kochi, India – Apollo Tyres' truck & bus tire operations are under pressure from cheap Chinese tire imports, according to company chairman Onkar Kanwar.
Imports of low-cost radials for trucks and buses from China are proving to be a challenge for Apollo’s bias products manufactured at its Kerala plants in India, Kanwar said at the company’s AGM in Kochi on 5 July.
Kanwar pointed out that another Indian tire maker had been forced to close a plant for the same reasons, though he did not identify the company.
Apollo, he said, had put in place a strategy to expand its bias product portfolio for “other segments like mining, agriculture, etc... and building a leadership position in these segments.”
During the meeting, Kanwar also unveiled the Vision 2020 growth strategy, which aims to make Apollo a “premier tire company with a diversified and multinational presence.”
To that end, he said, the tire-maker will be looking to building “leadership” in India, ‘premiumisation’ in Europe, and explore “strategically attractive markets” where the company is not currently represented.
Commenting on the new markets, Kanwar said Apollo “continues to work on products for the American market and other markets including ASEAN and Middle East to ensure that our products are available in various countries.”
According to Kanwar, Apollo introduced specific products for certain markets last year including Malaysia, Thailand, Europe and India. He also highlighted the company’s opening of a greenfield tire plant in Hungary this April.
At home, the chairman said Apollo “will continue to invest in its various plants for capacity expansion and technological [upgrades].”
The company has already completed phase 1 of a truck & bus radial expansion at its Chennai plant.
Apollo has also announced plans to set up a fifth Indian manufacturing plant in state of Andhra Pradesh to create capacities for the two-wheeler tires and other emerging product categories.