By Oliver Hall
The US decision to slap steep tariffs on tyres imported from China could give Indian manufacturers an obvious boost, according to a tyres company boss.
Neeraj Kanwar, managing director of India-based tyres manufacturer Apollo, admitted the extra duties will give them a competitive advantage “on an obvious kind of level”.
However, Kanwar also believes other manufacturers around the world, including South American companies, can also benefit.
In an exclusive interview with Modern Tyre Dealer magazine, he said: “The scale would depend on each company’s ability to leverage this opportunity.
“However, I strongly believe that for anyone to capitalize on this depends on three aspects.
“One, capacities and that company’s desire, willingness, preparedness and, of course, ability to leverage the situation.
“Two, the company needs to have products that will work well for the American customer on a longer term — or else not only will the opportunity be lost, it also leaves the company with a negative image.
“And three, pricing. While I have not studied this fully, the impression I have is that the vacuum is at a price band which might not suit many players in the industry.”
In the past, Kanwar has stated that Apollo does not have near-term plans to bring its line of consumer tyres to the U.S.
However, the company does have entree to the domestic market thanks to its buy-out in May of Vredestein Banden BV, which operates in the U.S. and Canada through its Vredestein Tyres North America Inc. division.