By Oliver Hall
Apollo tyres have abandoned plans to build their own plant in Europe in favour of doubling capacity at their Vredestein Banden factory in the Netherlands.
The Indian tyres manufacturer acquired the Dutch plant in Enschede last year and is planning to boost its car tyre output to 10 million units in a series of steps.
Onkar Kanwar, chairman and managing director of Apollo, who announced the news at the Geneva Motor Show, did not go into specific details about investment costs and time scales.
Prior to buying Vredestein last year, Apollo had been scouting Europe for an appropriate site for a radial passenger tyre plant.
It had budgeted $300 million for the project and appeared to be leaning towards Hungary in early 2008. The plant was to have annual capacity of up to 7 million units and employment of up to 1,000.
Mr. Kanwar did not rule out completely the idea of a greenfield plant in Europe at a later time.
However, Apollo have decided to concentrate all their efforts in the immediate future on the Vredestein expansion and upgrading the Durban and Ladysmith, South Africa, plants of its Apollo Tyres South Africa subsidiary there.