MUMBAI, India — Trelleborg Wheel Systems and its business partner in India have initiated trial production of two-wheeler tires at a factory they've built in Bharuch, in India's Gujarat state.
The new venture — Syam Trelleborg Tires L.L.P. — is 24% owned by Trelleborg and 76% by with Yogesh Agencies & Investments Pvt. Ltd. The venture will be making Mitas-brand motorcycle and scooter tires.
The project was scheduled to begin production by year-end 2020 according to the timetable the partners disclosed in 2018.
Trial production started in December ahead of the planned launch of commercial production in the first part of 2022, a company spokesperson said.
Bharuch is a city of about 150,000 residents at the mouth of the river Narmada in Gujarat in western India.
At the time the venture's founding was announced, Paolo Pompei, president of Trelleborg Wheel Systems, said the investment enables Trelleborg to "take our motorcycle tire operations to a new level," strengthening the product offering and extending the brand globally.
Trelleborg said the Mitas brand holds a "strong position" in this niche segment but did not disclose sales information related to the business.
The partners have not disclosed their investment in the factory nor the plant's expected capacities.
Yogesh Agencies — a business venture of the Mahansaria family, members of which have been active in the Indian tire industry for decades — will be responsible for the sales of Mitas two-wheeler tires in India and other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries, except Sri Lanka.
Trelleborg noted the Mahansaria family are "highly reputed" entrepreneurs and business leaders in the tire industry. Yogesh Mahansaria, for instance, is a one-time CEO of Balkrishna Industries who was a principal in the acquisition of Israeli tire maker Alliance Tire Co. Ltd. in 2007 by private equity company Warburg Pincus L.L.C.
Mr. Mahansaria led the reformed Alliance Tire Group until 2016, when it was sold to Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. During this period, he oversaw the construction of two Alliance plants in India for off-highway tires.
Trelleborg produces Mitas-brand two-wheeler tires at a plant in Zlin, Czech Republic. The product range includes tires for motorcycles, both on- and off-road, as well as scooters and mopeds as well as for go-karts.