Amtel Holdings' plan to make Vredestein-brand tires at its tire plants in Russia will allow Amtel-Vredestein to concentrate on larger, higher value-added sizes, including U.S.-specific sizes for the first time, company executives said at a recent event in Moscow marking Amtel's purchase of Vredestein.
Moscow-based Amtel, which operates tire plants in Kirov, Voronezh and Krasnoyarsk, Russia, bought Vredestein earlier this year for $256 million.
Rod Oudshoorn, Vredestein CEO, said the company now can consider making U.S.-specific sized winter tires at the Amtel plants in Russia, noting the company has rather neglected the U.S. market.
Amtel is planning to make 15,000 Vredestein-brand tires this year at its factory in Kirov, Russia, to supplement 30,000 imported Vredestein tires, said Sudhir Gupta, Amtel chairman, in an interview with European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business. In 2006, this will increase to 1 million tires manufactured in Russia and 200,000 imports, the firm said. Starting in 2007, Amtel will start making Vredestein tires at its Voronezh II factory that is more than 70 percent complete.
A great deal of these units will be smaller sizes, allowing Amtel-Vredestein to concentrate on 16-, 17-, 18-inch and larger sizes at its plant in Enschede, Netherlands, Mr. Oudshoorn said.
In the past, Vredestein's limited capacity meant it focused on sizes for European and Japanese models. ``Now (we) can consider anything at all if the market is there,'' Mr. Oudshoorn said, including sizes for the larger U.S. cars, vans, light trucks and sport-utility vehicles.
Launching the Vredestein brand in Russia and producing them at Amtel Group plants is the ``beginning of the synergetic effect resulting from our acquisition of this Dutch premium-class tire producer,'' said Amtel CEO Alex Gurin. ``We plan to apply the latest tire production technologies at our Russian facilities, as well as the management expertise of our Dutch colleagues and the wide international distribution network of Vredestein.''
In 2004, Amtel made 14.4 million tires, with after-tax profit of $11.5 million on sales of $383 million.