HANOVER, Germany-Continental AG and Apollo Tyres Ltd. of India have signed a letter of intent to build an $88 million radial auto tire plant near Pune, India, with production scheduled for 1998. Continenal and Apollo, technical partners for more than 10 years, will create a 50-50 joint venture to oversee construction and operation of the new factory, which will be built on a 48-acre site near Pune in Maharashta Province. Initial capacity will exceed 4.7 million units annually, Conti said.
A ``large percentage'' of the production, including Conti group brands, will be exported to other Asian markets as well as to Europe, Conti said.
The announcement appears to be a modification of a plan Apollo announced last year, to invest $160 million in a car, light truck and heavy truck tire plant at Pune. Apollo could not be reached for comment on the status of truck tire production at the facility.
Conti also supplies technology in India to JK Industries Ltd. and Modi Rubber Ltd. The four companies are cooperating on radial truck tire research and development and have indicated previously their intent to build capacity for such products.