ENSCHEDE, Netherlands — Apollo Tyres Ltd. has upgraded production capabilities for agricultural tires at its factory in Enschede, in response to growing demand from customers in Europe and North America.
The company commissioned a 104-inch curing press at the plant, where the firm's Apollo Vredestein subsidiary makes agricultural and passenger tires.
The new press is dedicated to the production of the XL segment tractor tires, which are offered in sizes up to 42 inches in rim diameter.
The newly installed press is capable of curing tires up to 90 inches in outside diameter and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, which are suitable for tractors with power ratings of between 200 and 500 hp.
The commissioning of the press represents a "significant increase" in capacity for this segment, Apollo said, without quantifying the increase. The press is the first part of a five-year investment program in production capabilities for agricultural tires at the 74-year-old factory in Enschede.
With this expansion, Apollo Vredestein aims to increase availability of its premium product range in Europe and realize further international market share growth.
Apollo said increasing demand for its agricultural products is initiated both from end-users such as agricultural contractors and farmers, and from agricultural machinery manufacturers fitting tires as part of their OEM strategies.
Apollo is in the midst of a program to renew its ag tire portfolio in order to meet the demand of a new generation of tractors that are becoming larger, stronger and heavier.
Among Apollo Vredestein's new products is the Vredestein Traxion Optimall tire featuring VF technology, which allows for better performance in the field at lower tire pressures.
The commissioning of this press falls in line with a plan the company disclosed in March 2020 to refocus the plant on high-performance passenger and agricultural tires.
The plan calls for the phaseout of certain product lines, which will result in the elimination of 750 jobs over a 24-month period running through early 2022. Gurgaon, India-based Apollo has operated the plant in Enschede — a city of about 160,000 in eastern Netherlands on the border with Germany — since 2009 when it acquired Vredestein Banden B.V.