KOCHI, India — Apollo Tyres Ltd.'s truck and bus tire business is under pressure from low-cost Chinese tire imports, company Chairman Onkar Kanwar told shareholders at the company's recent annual general meeting.
Imports of low-cost radials for trucks and buses from China are proving to be a challenge for Apollo's bias-ply products manufactured at its plants in Kerala, India, Mr. Kanwar said at the company's meeting in Kochi on June 5.
Mr. Kanwar pointed out that another Indian tire maker had been forced to close a plant for the same reasons, though he did not identify the company.
Apollo, he said, had put in place a strategy to expand its bias product portfolio for "other segments like mining, agriculture, etc… and building a leadership position in these segments."
During the meeting, Kanwar also unveiled the Vision 2020 growth strategy, which aims to make Apollo a "premier tire company with a diversified and multinational presence."
To that end, he said, the tire maker will be looking to build "leadership" in India, "premiumization" in Europe, and explore "strategically attractive markets" where the company is not currently represented.
Commenting on the new markets, Kanwar said Apollo "continues to work on products for the American market and other markets including ASEAN and Middle East to ensure that our products are available in various countries."
According to Mr. Kanwar, Apollo introduced specific products for certain markets last year including Malaysia, Thailand, Europe and India.
At home, the chairman said Apollo "will continue to invest in its various plants for capacity expansion and technological [upgrades]."
The company already has completed phase one expansion of a truck and bus radial capacity at its Chennai plant.
Apollo also has announced plans to set up a fifth Indian plant, in Andhra Pradesh state, for two-wheeler tires and other emerging product categories.