By Oliver Hall
Apollo tyres is set to increase its production by 60 per cent during the next fiscal year as it bids to become one of the top tyre makers in the world.
The Indian tyres manufacturer plans to increase its exports from the present rate of 10-12 per cent to 20-30 per cent of the production along with its entry into the European passenger car radial market by April next year.
Apollo has set its sights on reaching the top within the next five years.
The current combined production capacity of Apollo’s three plants is around 1,000 tonnes, however, Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director of Apollo, said: “By the first quarter of the next fiscal, we will increase our daily capacity to 1,600 tonnes.
“This will be aided by the new Chennai plant, which is slated to be operational by December 1, besides adding additional capacity to the existing plants.”
Apollo has one facility in Gujarat and two in Kerela. The Chennai plant, with a 400 tonne capacity, will have a daily production of 8,000 passenger car radials and 6,000 truck and bus radials. The company, however, plans to sell the majority of the production domestically.
By 2011, the company will invest Rs 2,200 crore in both the new plant and for the capacity expansion of the existing plants, said Kanwar.
He added that Apollo plans to start importing tyres from its recently acquired Dutch unit Vredestein Banden B V by next year. The Dutch company is a niche tyre maker which makes tyres only above 15 inches in size.