French tyre maker Michelin is likely to set up a second plant in India to cater to the growing passenger vehicle segment.
However, the chances of setting up the plant depends on the success of the company’s upcoming plant in Tamil Nadu for commercial vehicles. The second plant may take two-three years time to come up.
“We may look at a passenger car plant as well. But it will take at least two years after setting up of the commercial vehicle plant,” said Michel Rollier, managing general partner, Michelin, on the sidelines of Challenge Bibendum, the company’s annual flagship event.
Michelin owns 103 acres of land in Pune and has also acquired 250 acres of land in Tamil Nadu.
The second plant is based in Ranjangaon, though the company refused to say whether the same would be used to set up the passenger vehicle facility.
“At present the focus is on the truck and the bus market in India. We will continue to import tyres for passenger cars through our dealer network. There is still no decision on what we plan to do with the land in Ranjangoan,” said Prashant Prabhu, president, Africa, India and West Asia, Michelin. The spokesperson did not rule out the possibility of setting up a facility for catering to the growing passenger vehicle market.
The tyre maker has already committed an investment of Rs 4,000 crore over the next seven years to open a manufacturing facility in India by 2012-end. .
According to estimates, the collective size of the Indian tyre market is about Rs 22,000 crore.
(The author’s travel and stay was sponsored by Michelin)