Chennai, Oct 10 (IANS) French automotive tyre major Michelin will be doubling its production capacity at its Indian facility by 2018 while a new production line for truck tyres was inaugurated on Tuesday, said officials.
“A new production line was inaugurated to roll out tyres. The Indian market is showing steady growth trend. It is an important market for us,” Jean-Dominique Senard, Chief Executive Officer, Michelin Group told reporters.
He declined to reveal the investment that has gone into the new production line which will help double the current capacity by 2018.
Michelin’s Indian plant rolls out tyres for trucks. The Indian subsidiary sources two wheelers tyres from a TVS group company while importing tyres for passenger cars and other vehicles.
“The Indian plant’s capacity will be doubled to 30,000 tons per annum (tpa) by 2018,” Serge Lafon, Executive Vice President-Trucks and Bus Tyres said.
The expansion is mainly to cater to increasing demand from the replacement market and from vehicle manufacturers.
Michelin has signed an agreement with commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland Ltd to supply the X-Guard range of radial truck tyres for its Captain 3718 Plus long and medium distance commercial vehicles.
The deal is a major one for Michelin in India.
According to officials a total of Rs.3,500 crore has been invested by Michelin at its factory and research and development centre in India.
Officials said the Indian subsidiary would increase the range of tyres produced for commercial vehicles but would continue to source tyres for two wheelers from a tyre maker.
Speaking about the distribution network in India Mohan Kumar, Executive Vice President, Michelin India said the company’s products are present in around 5,000 outlets and the expenditure on building the brand equity has increased.
According to Kumar, the company is now focusing on digital space for building its brand.
He said the Indian plant exports tyres to some markets and also some mixtures that would be used to make tyres in some other markets.