Gurgaon, India – The severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the continuing uncertainties around it formed the backdrop for Apollo Tyres Ltd chairman Onkar S Kanwar’s speech at company's 47th annual general meeting on 20 Aug
“We don’t know how long the uncertainties around this pandemic will continue,” set out Kanwar, noting that the Indian economy had been deeply impacted, including the country’s automotive industry which suffered a 14% contraction.
But, he added, despite the challenging environment in the Indian and European automotive segment, “we continued to work to achieve our vision of being ‘a premier tire company with a diversified and multinational presence.’”
Over the last 12 months. Apollo has consolidated its position in existing markets; continued to invest in its Apollo and Vredestein brands and expanded capacity via greenfield projects – a seventh tire plant in Andhra Pradesh and motorcycle radial facility in Gujarat.
In particular, the Apollo leader described brand-building as ”a key goal” including positioning Vredestein “as an even more premium brand.”
Apollo’s European operations, he noted, had gained more OE fitments, including for majors, such as Volkswagen, Ford and Seat, and received "best-in-class" accolades for its all-season tires in Germany and Wintrac Pro winter tire in the US.
Kanwar summarised: “It is been a tough journey for all us, since the past two years. With the continuing uncertainties, I see things continue to remain challenging and we will continue to work towards ensuring increased stakeholder value.
The Apollo chairman went on to thank the Indian government and prime minister Shri Narendra Modi for protection granted to the domestic tire industry from a “flood of unfairly priced, poor quality imports.”
By introducing requirements for licensed imports, he said the government had ensured that only quality products not available domestically could be imported.
Apollo, promised Kanwar, “would significantly increase production, jobs and exports in the years ahead” in response to the government’s measures.