German tyre maker Continental is set to tap trucks and buses radial tyre market in India with the starting of local production.
The Hannover-based firm is also looking to expand its product offering in the passenger vehicle radial tyre segment apart from entering into the construction
equipment tyre category.
"With the launch of truck and bus radial tyres we have completed our product portfolio in India and now we can grow our business here with premium solutions," Continental Head of Tyre Division, Nikolai Setzer, told PTI.
The firm had acquired Modi Tyres Company for around Rs. 117 crore in 2011.
"As per the initial plan, we have invested 5O million Euro on the Modipuram facility since 2011 to make it fit to produce radial tyres," Setzer said.
The first phase of consolidation in the country, which began in 2011, is now complete, he added.
The company's Modipuram facility at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh has a production capacity of 1.1 million bias tyres for trucks and buses annually. It has now added another capacity to manufacture 2.2 lakh trucks and buses radial tyres annually at the plant.
Besides, the company is also planning to expand its passenger vehicle radial tyres product portfolio.
"We are also going to add products to our passenger vehicle radial tyre portfolio and it will be completed by the end of the year," Setzer said.
The company is looking at a production capacity in the range of half a million to a million units in the segment, he said, adding the present production was negligible as it was started only at the end of last year.
"Besides we would be launching construction tyres later this year," Setzer said.
The Indian truck tyres replacement market is pegged at around 14 million units per annum, out of which around 4 million units are radial tyres.
Over the last five years the market has grown by around 24 per cent and has witnessed a strong shift towards radial tyres.
Besides tyres, Continental also markets various automotive components including brake systems and infotainment solutions.
The company posted sales of 33.3 billion Euro in 2013 and employs around 1.78 lakh people across 49 countries.
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