SEREGNO, Italy — Off-highway tire maker Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) isn't fazed by the arrival of a new Indian tire manufacturer.
Startup Indian Mahansaria Tyres Private Ltd (MTPL) announced on Sept. 27 it had started commercial production at its greenfield off-highway tire manufacturing facility in Panoli, in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
"Another player, yes, will disturb [the market] a little bit, but not very much our overall strategy and position on the off-highway tire business," Lucia Salmaso, CEO of BKT Europe, said. "This has always been a competitive market [with] new players coming in, players going out. It is up and down the situation and that never changes."
Mumbai, India-based BKT is "following our strategy towards our 2020-2025 targets," the group's European CEO said.
These plans include a project — revealed by BKT executives in late 2018 — to build a $100-million factory in the U.S., but the compamy put those plans on indefinite hold just nine months later, citing "business uncertainties" related to "volatile" climate conditions.
"We are still investing in India because our plants are working," she said. "We keep updating our manufacturing facilities, our machinery and new capacity [in line with] our market objectives."
Ms. Salmaso spoke at a Sept. 29 press conference announcing BKT's partnership with EuroLeague Basketball. Under a three-year deal, BKT will promote its brand inside arenas for EuroLeague and EuroCup games as well as via related digital and social media.