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Apollo Expanding Brand Across the Globe

April 13, 2010
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According to an interview in the Economic Times with Neeraj R S Kanwar, managing director of Apollo Tyres, the tiremaker plans to grow its footprint worldwide in the coming year.

Apollo – the 15th largest tire manufacturer in the world – has invested Rs 2,000 crore in building India’s largest truck radial manufacturing factory near Chennai, which will produce 6,000 truck radials per day. Kanwar was “the driving force” behind acquisition of South Africa’s Dunlop Tyres International in 2006 and Europe’s Vredestein Banden BV of Netherlands in 2009, according to the Economic Times.

Here are key excerpts from the interview:

You’ve been aggressive in the tire acquisition space since 2006. When do you plan to consolidate your operations and expand your footprint across the globe?

We have decided to set up our global marketing office in Brussels to cater to the world markets. Europe is a major zone and we wish to increase our presence there. We’ve roped in Marc Luyten as chief marketing officer to steer out marketing growth plans in overseas markets. South Africa is also a big market for us and in coming years we plan to aggressively grow the Dunlop brand. At present, Apollo, Vredestein and Dunlop are our three key brands. Other brands are Regal and Kaizen (truck-bus tires), Dyra Tyres (retreaded tires), Dura Tread (retreading material) and Acelere Wheelz (alloy wheels for passenger cars).

Vredestein is an established brand in the passenger car tire market in Europe. Do you have any plans to establish your home brand – Apollo – in the world market?

Having established our global marketing office in Brussels, we are now poised to launch Apollo tires in Europe. It will be launched in June and we’ve identified Reifen Essen Show, which will be held in Germany, as the launching pad for our tires. The Reifen Essen show takes place every two years. The last Reifen Essen show took place in 2008 and 576 exhibitors displayed their latest innovations and services to more than 17,600 trade visitors from over 80 countries. The show’s product offerings include tires, rims, wheels, chassis technology, tire repair shop equipment, tire retreading and vulcanization, among many others.

Do you have similar plans to launch Vredestein tires in the Indian market?

We have already worked out plans to introduce the Vredestein brand in the Indian market. Our plan is to introduce these tires in the second quarter of FY 2011. Similarly, we may also launch Vredestein tires in South Africa, where we already have a presence through Dunlop Tyres International, which has been renamed as Apollo Tyres South Africa Pty Ltd.