Tyre manufacturer and automotive supplier Continental today said it has started production and distribution of radial truck tyres in the domestic market.
With an initial annual production capacity of 2.20 lakh units, Continental will maximise its reach through a dealer network of more than 1,400 outlets and sales and customer service teams in more than 70 cities across India, the company said in a release.
"India is the second largest market for truck tyres in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) and we strongly believe that our premium technology products, manufactured locally and distributed through our local market organisation, will make Continental a preferred partner in the tyre replacement and original equipment business," Andreas Esser, head of the commercial vehicle tyres business at Continental, said.
Continental's initial radial tyre product portfolio in the local market covers segments like goods, construction segments among others, the company said.
With introduction of radial tyres, the company will take the next step in expanding reach in India after acquiring Indian tyre manufacturer Modi Tyres in 2011, it said.
The domestic truck tyre replacement market currently stands at around 14 million units per year, of which almost 4 million units are radial tyres while the rest 10 million units come from bias tyres.
Over the last five years, the market has not only grown by approximately 24 per cent, but has also seen a strong shift towards radial tyres. It is expected that radialisation will gain further momentum in next years, the release said.
Investing in local production capacities is part of Continental's strategy to diversify its global manufacturing footprint and expand business in growing markets like India, it said, adding that the company has invested heavily into the construction of a new production building alongside with machinery for making radial tyres apart from imparting training to some of its staff at its overseas plants.
"We firmly believe that the personal training of our local staff through experts from other production sites is a key factor for the successful ramp-up of a new tyre plant," company's head of manufacturing commercial vehicle tyres Thierry Wipff said.