Budapest, Hungary: Global tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres announces another milestone in its European development strategy, by opening its sixth tyre manufacturing unit, which is Apollo’s second one in Europe.
Apollo Tyres’ new factory opening in Hungary is the strongest indicator, so far, of the company’s soon-to-be-revealed plans to launch its Truck and Bus Radial Tyre (TBR) range in Europe, spearheaded by Apollo’s presence at the forthcoming Commercial Vehicle Show this month, in Birmingham, UK.
The Honourable Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, formally opened Apollo Tyres’ latest manufacturing unit.
Located less than 100 km from the Hungarian capital, the new factory is Apollo Tyres’ first greenfield facility outside India. The momentous occasion reflects the company’s growth aspirations and manufacturing capabilities, showcasing some of the best practices in tyre manufacturing with a highly automated plant, the use of fully-integrated systems and robotics, and employing young and skilled associates on the shop floor, mostly hired locally.
Speaking on the occasion Onkar S Kanwar, Chairman, Apollo Tyres said, “With this inauguration today, of our Hungary greenfield facility, we have crossed another milestone in our global growth journey. This facility will help us further increase our presence and market share in Europe. From being a replacement- market- focused company in Europe, we would soon be starting supplies of our tyres to all the leading OEs in Europe.”
Construction of the plant began in April 2015, and the facility covers over 72 hectares. The company is investing €475 million in the project; at the end of Phase I the plant’s final capacity will be 5.5 million passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyres along with 675,000 commercial vehicle tyres. The new factory complements Apollo Tyres’ existing manufacturing plant in the Netherlands, and will produce both Apollo and Vredestein brand tyres for the European market.
The inauguration also marks 40 years for the company being in the business of manufacturing and selling of tyres. India’s leading tyre manufacturer started its journey in the mid ‘70s from a single plant in the rubber-producing state of Kerala in India. Apollo started making truck tyres and only after becoming the market leader in that segment, the company then entered other product segments. Apollo ventured into passenger vehicle tyres relatively recently (in the 2000s), but quickly became the largest producer of these tyres in India. Similarly, it entered the truck/bus radial segment around 2006, and already has the largest capacity in this sector in India.
The company has a rich history of ‘firsts’. Apollo Tyres was the first Indian tyre company to make an international acquisition (in 2006), followed by a second one in 2009. It was also the first to start selling India-made products in Europe, considered to be the most advanced automotive market. The company is now poised to be a major force in key international markets on the back of its significant investments in R&D and Manufacturing, supported by its brand-building activities.