LAS VEGAS — Off-road tire maker Balkrishna Industries Ltd., the No. 39 tire maker worldwide, has disclosed plans to build a plant in the U.S.
Arvind Poddar, chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra, India-based company, disclosed the company's plans in a videotaped message played at the Tire Industry Association's Awards Night in Las Vegas, where Mr. Poddar was to be inducted in the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.
Rajiv Poddar, joint managing director who accepted the award on his father's behalf, said the company's board of directors approved the investment for the project about a month ago.
He declined to say what the investment will be, but said BKT is conducting an intense site search that he anticipates will be finalized before year-end. The company is considering sites in the Midwest, company officials said.
Rajiv Poddar said BKT expects it will take up to two years to complete the factory, which would put the start of production in the late 2020/early 2021 time frame.
BKT reported sales of $692 million in fiscal 2017-18, which it said represents about a 6-percent share of the global OTR tire business. The company's goal is 10 percent by 2025.
About 85 percent of the firm's fiscal 2017-18 revenue was generated in markets outside of India, including roughly $93 million in North America, according to BKT's financial reports. BKT has made significant OE inroads with North American-based equipment makers, Rajiv Poddar noted.
Europe is the company's largest market, accounting for more than half of annual revenue.
Arvind Poddar did not attend the TIA Hall of Fame event because of the recent death of his uncle, Dharaprasad Poddar, chairman emeritus of the company.
BKT is represented in North America by BKT USA Inc. in Fairlawn, Ohio.