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Michelin Slows Radial Plans in India

(Akron/Tire Review) Groupe Michelin said last week that, though it plans to produce radial tires in collaboration with India’s Apollo Tyres, the company is waiting for radial tires to catch on in the Indian market.

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Herve Dub, CEO of Michelin India, told the media there that radial penetration in that country remains at less than 1%, making it difficult to establish radial manufacturing there. The company operates Michelin Apollo Tyres there and has acquired land for a plant near Pune, India.

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"We have realigned our partnership with Apollo in this regard so that both of us can tap the immediate growth opportunities in the market,” Dub said. “Michelin’s strategy will be to grow our truck and bus tyres business significantly along with focusing on the passenger car side.”

In addition, the pace of radialization within India’s truck and bus market was not in keeping with the company’s initial estimates, he said.

Still, Dub told the media he sees “a huge window of opportunity” for radial tires in India. "With the quality and quantity of trucks in the market growing rapidly, the market is picking up, and we will further grow it by educating the trucking community about the benefits of adopting radial tires, which give better fuel economy and longer life.”

Michelin India has also launched Michelin Priority Partner, a multi-brand tire retail store concept, where it will offer a range of passenger vehicle tires.

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