London – Aeolus is in talks with Sri Lankan tire group Onyx with a view to establishing a truck & bus tire (TBR) joint venture, sources close to the negotiations have informed ERJ.
Under the proposals, Aeolus would supply technology, expertise and equipment for a TBR manufacturing JV with Onyx, which has recently invested in a passenger car tire plant near Colombo.
Sri Lankan government officials are closely involved in negotiations around the proposed joint venture, according to one of the ERJ sources – all of whom declined to be identified.
Establishing a manufacturing base in Sri Lanka would enable Aeolus – formerly part of Pirelli - to mitigate the impact of EU and US duties on its truck & bus tire exports from China.
Onyx, which owns Rigid Tyre, bought tire-making equipment for the Colombo facility from a shuttered Marangoni plant in Italy.
While this equipment was eventually exported to Sri Lanka, the operational status of the facility is still unclear.
ERJ is awaiting replies from Aeolus and Onyx about this report.